WATCH: A Victoria woman feels she and others were treated unfairly when they were ticketed during the RCMP Musical Ride. Isabelle Raghem explains why.
A ticket was the last thing Marilyn Dyer expected to see when she walked back to her car Saturday afternoon.
“Ticketing people, to me, for such a wonderful event as this is just not right,” said the Victoria resident.
Dyer was among the large crowd gathered at Topaz Park Saturday to enjoy the RCMP Musical Ride.
When she arrived at the park, the small parking lot was packed, so she parked on nearby Glasgow street. It was a street close enough to the park that wouldn’t be too far a walk for her four-year-old granddaughter.
But she was surprised to find a ticket on her car, among several others, because they had parked on a “resident only” street.
“It certainly didn’t bother the neighbourhood,” said Dyer, “A neighbourhood lady came to me and I stopped right in front of her house and she said ‘we tried to stop them but they wouldn’t listen’.”
That resident was Hilary Graham: “I hate to say it, they seemed a little gleeful.”
Graham happened to be doing house renovations outdoors at the time.
“We turned and we saw these guys with blue shirts and it’s like their ticketing people. The RCMP is doing their performance and it just seemed so wrong”
“It’s ironic, the RCMP was doing the musical ride and here we were ticketing our citizens,” added Graham.
Adding to the frustration, the resident says she has never seen officers ticketing on her street before yesterday’s event.
“It’s extremely disappointing. Ticket when it’s needed when people are abusing but this is the community coming together in force. Let’s not do this.”
Marilyn Dyer feels the city took advantage of attendees.
“It did feel that there was an event happening, and ha, let’s descend on them.”
She insists it’s not about paying the $30 fine, but about principle. She said she would be happy to donate that $30 to the RCMP charity fund instead.
“When you’re holding such a special event, [I feel that] Victoria needs to be lenient for the few hours that the event is taking place.”
“It just felt sad because I’d like people to feel comfortable in our neighbourhood and enjoying Topaz Park,” said Graham.
Both Dyer and Graham hope the city will reconsider its approach to ticketing next time an event draws crowds.