Tow Truck Licensing: Speak Up!

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Tow Truck Licensing: Speak Up!
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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is the Town and Regional Councillor for Ward 1. He was first elected to Oakville's town council in October 2014. Sean lives with his wife and family in Bronte.

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As many in Oakville have found out the hard way, when private property owners decide to solve their parking issues through the hiring of a tow truck company, it’s the wild west.

From North Oakville properties near the hospital and most recently and devastatingly, in Bronte village, the manner with which tow truck operators have conducted their business has been disappointing to say the least.

The overwhelming majority of Oakville residents support private property rights. For decades the communal approach to parking in Bronte has been predicated by the philosophy that a rising tide floats all boats: until recently.

Bronte is seeing a boom as a destination for its restaurants, harbour views and through the warm weather musical series. In times past, you could have shot a canon through the village and no one would have been the wiser. As we’ve revitalized, parking concerns have become a product of our own success. The Town has taken steps to address the amount of open public parking spaces and we will see changes to the public parking in Bronte as early as this summer.

What we have not received is the cooperation from the towing companies that doggedly pursue violators off of private property with abandonment.

In September of 2018, Council brought forward recommendations to license the tow truck industry in Oakville, in particular predatory towing actions. This motion failed as the majority of Councils heard from numerous towing companies about the unfairness of regulations; we heard from ZERO residents impacted by predatory towing.

This Spring, a report will come back to Council after hearing more concerns from the public and Councillors. I want Council to hear from you.

I have received hundreds upon hundreds of complaints from demanding cash, fluctuating charges, after hour charges when the vehicle had just been towed to name but a few.

The Town has no legal authority to regulate towing practices unless we implement a licensing structure, then we can hold the predatory towers accountable and set a fair playing field from set fines, to storage yard fees to complaint mechanisms for residents who feel they have been taken advantage of.

Tow Truck Licensing Meeting

Council must hear from you in order to put a stop to these predatory practices: this is the only way. I would encourage anyone who impacted to let their Councillors know the experience they had and to attend the open House on April 4th at Town Hall 6:30-8pm or to email enforcementservices@oakville.ca and share their thoughts and experiences.

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