Ask the Hammer

Every now and then I like to share my bewilderment over subjects I have heard or read about, or seen during the year. By themselves they don’t necessarily make for single columns, but the ensemble provides, I hope for you, as interesting a gander as they did for me.

Let’s start with “gander”.  How did the term become synonymous with looking?  Apparently, because geese have such long necks and because the male goose likes to poke its head up and see what’s happening.

Travel anyone?

Many of you are travelling over the holidays or are contemplating a future trip to some new exciting place.  If you were a fan of the Flintstones back in the 60’s, you can rent (or buy) “The Flintstone House” just outside of Sans Francisco for $750 U.S./night through Airbnb.

However, be vigilant whilst enroute to your destination lest someone tamper with your luggage and hide a detonator or explosives in the pull out handles of your suitcase.  At least this is the explanation given by a man in his 70s who was arrested in 2013 after X-rays led to this exact discovery. The case proceeded this past November.  Can’t wait to learn of the verdict.

Too much money on your hands.

Well you could order an 18-karat gold plated toilet! Such an accommodation was actually installed in a small restroom at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Visitors may leave deposits there for the small price of admission to the museum. Talk about flushing your money! There is a guard outside in case you have questions, but I suspect it has more to do with making sure you don’t make any withdrawals.

Crimes and misdemeanours

A recent Court ruling by a Quebec Court Judge has ruled the method of ticketing photo-radar infractions to be inadmissible and invalid. The ticket was for $1,160.00 for driving 140km in a 70km zone!

Given the Government’s intention to pepper our roadways with these devices, I suspect to soon read that this Judgment will be taken to Appeal. After all, most believe this is yet another mode of tax grabbing our hard earned dollars, a conclusion the Judge even commented on in his Judgment.

The reasoning behind the ruling is based on the manner in which the tickets are issued, being hearsay, which is an inadmissible form of proof. So if you get such a ticket before an Appeal is decided, or if there is no appeal, (by the end of December 2016), you probably should plead not guilty, and ask in Small Claims Court to reimburse any judicial costs you incur if you feel so inclined.


I did an entire article on this earlier in the year but 2 new ones I just discovered merit a few lines.

The first is an outfit pretending to be a branch of the Lester B. Pearson School Board pertaining to International Vocational training.  It calls itself – LBP Vocational College.  The actual Lester B. Pearson International Studies Program has posted a warning on its website but I suspect if one clicks on the wrong Google search result, you won’t see it.  In the meantime, hundreds of potential foreign students have sent the bogus entity money (thousands each) and are now being denied the Immigration status they would have had if their deposits had gone to the actual LBP School Board.

And then there was another group representing themselves to be sellers of the Canada Goose coats at 50% off in a pre-Christmas sale.  Verification of this indicates these coats are made in China and that Canada Goose does not reduce their prices but once a year and certainly not before Christmas. The buyer, as the Latin saying goes “Caveat emptor”, should really have obeyed that one!

A Society Gone Crazy

Seemingly Quebec, and Montreal in particular, has gone crazy ticketing everyone for everything they can think of.  From dogs to ceremonial gear, this seems to be the new way to both enhance Government coffers and annoy the citizenry.

The $221.00 ticket received by Black Watch Piper Jeff McCarthy is an example of this egregious tax collection policy. The traditional Scottish garment includes wearing a small knife [sgian-dubh].  Even our boisterous Mayor has stated that he didn’t think the bagpiper was a threat, unlike dogs!

What’s next, tickets for sporting the traditional poppy on your coat or hat in November?

Before I exceed my word quota, I want to wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2017 which I suspect will be replete with even more bizarre stories for us all to enjoy.

Me. Hammerschmid has practiced Family Law since 1982; Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates; founding & current member of Family Law Association of Quebec (past Secretary for 28 years). Inquiries treated confidentially: 514-846-1013 or [email protected] © 2016 Linda Hammerschmid 

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