Provincial Offences charges in Muskoka have been on a steep and steady decline over the past few years.
District council heard during their most recent meeting that
offences in Muskoka dropped by 21% in 2016, 23% in 2017 and another 6.7% last year.
The numbers mirror a drop in provincial charges across Ontario, with a drop of slightly more than one percent in 2018.
Although there were fewer charges on the whole, the number of people who opted to fight the charges in court actually increased by roughly two per cent. The trial volume in Muskoka for Part 1 offences in 2018 was for 1,588 charges. That translates to roughly 18% of the total number of charges laid in Muskoka.
At the end of 2018, the District calculated there was roughly $8.4 million in owed in outstanding charges. Staff said they continue to develop in-house collection strategies and they’ve also retained two collection agencies to collect defaulted provincial offences fines.
Last year those collection agencies were able to track down just over $100,000 in outstanding fines.