As posted in The Record March 24, 2012
Man Told to Move Truck that Honours Canada’s Troops
Not long after Canadian troops went to war in Afghanistan, Jeff Meyer, 49, parked the M-131 army truck on his small front lawn on Victoria Street and decorated it with yellow ribbons, flags and banners. It was a highly visible demonstration of support for the soldiers on that mission and in remembrance of the ones who died there.
“I can’t believe this is happening when the truck has been there for years,” Meyer said.
On Wednesday a city bylaw officer shut him down.
The city forbids parking on front lawns. The city also forbids parking vehicles without plates in driveways. Meyer’s army truck runs well, but it does not have plates.
“Different groups stationed in Afghanistan have photographs of that truck with their unit,” Meyer said. “People from all over the world, who are tourists, took pictures of the truck.
“Local injured soldiers’ mothers have stopped in, crying, to thank me for putting it out there.”
Meyer said he wants a compromise that would allow him to park the truck in the driveway, where it is visible to passersby.
The city’s bylaw department did nothing about the truck for years because nobody complained about it. Bylaw enforcement officers only act on complaints.
Shayne Turner, the head of bylaw enforcement, said the city is sensitive to the fact the truck and banners were a tribute to the troops in the Afghan war.
“We understand the importance and emotional attachment to military issues,” Turner said.
Licensing the vehicle and parking it in the driveway would solve the problem.
“Let’s find something that balances the needs of the property owner and the needs of the neighbourhood,” Turner said.