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New tobogganing rules become latest target of the Rick Mercer Report

Friday, January 23, 2015, 11:06 AM - A recent crackdown on one of winter's favourite activities has become the latest subject of a Rick Mercer bit.

In a video posted online, Rick Mercer ridiculed the recent tobogganing bans in a video featuring fictional undercover cops Uptown and Downey. The video shows the duo responding to a 'code white' which leads them to their beat: the hills. They interrogate a young slider before discussing the seriousness of the offense.

"I've seen what those hills can do to cops. It chews them up and spits them out," said Downey in the video before sending Uptown home to his wife and kids.

"With degeneratres like that out there? I'm a toboggan cop Downey. And a damn good one," replies Upton.

Fictional cops, real world problem

While the cops in the Rick Mercer video may be fictional, the situation is very real. Every year more and more cities join in on the fight against sledding. Fueled by costly lawsuits, all across North America cities are banning sledding or posting signs with the hopes they will not be liable for any accidents.

Earlier this year, residents of Orangeville, Ontario woke up to find a 'No Tobogganing' sign on a popular location. Mayor Jeremy D Williams said that an insurance company was undergoing a risk assesment to determine if the shape of the hill was too risky. He clarified that the city has no bylaw stopping anyone from tobogganing, but the risk is there.

In Hamilton, residents could face a $5000 fine if they're caught sledding on a hill with a clear visible sign. The fine fee is so high that a change.org petition was started.

"Did you know that the City of Hamilton has implemented an astronomical charge for having winter fun? People can now receive up to a $5,000 FINE for tobogganing on local hills!," the petition reads. "Too many people are stuck indoors, playing endless video games, drinkin' soda's; staring at the television and letting their brains and bodies turn to MUSH! As proud Canadians we must embrace our right to toboggan down that freshly powdered hill here in Hamilton, Ontario!![sic]"

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