TLT tells vehicle-for-hire license applicant he has to wait
by John Q. Duffy
Three items were scheduled at the Toronto Licensing Tribunal for Thursday, May 24, 2018, but only one proceeded to a full hearing.
Over objections from Imran Malik, applying for a Vehicle-For-Hire Driver’s License, the City was granted an adjournment so it could obtain a police witness to testify about circumstances surrounding an arrest of the would-be driver.
It came out in discussions that the charges against Malik were dropped, but the City feels the testimony is needed. The City has had difficulty reaching this officer so it is unknown when she might be available to testify.
David Gourlay, lawyer for the City, said he would use his best efforts to arrange a date suitable for the officer over the next week.
When it came to light that the potential witness is a woman officer, Malik questioned what she would have to say as he said no female officers were involved in his arrest.
He also objected to the adjournment as he was there and ready to proceed and wanted to avoid “wasting” more time waiting for the hearing as he wants to get to work.
Granting the adjournment, the panel chair, Daphne Simon, commented that this license application was only a couple of months old and any delay should be minimal.
The application of Angaijan Ariyaratnam for a Tow Truck Driver’s License was deemed abandoned after he once again failed to attend a scheduled hearing. The panel heard that TLT staff repeatedly spoke with and left messages for the applicant asking about his attendance at this hearing.
Finally, after a full hearing, the application of Philip Wai Tung Tsui for an Entertainer’s License was denied after a full hearing.
The panel heard that Tsui (pronounced “Choi”) had spend time in jail after bringing an unloaded handgun into Billy Bishop airport in 2015, attempting to hide it in a bathroom, and attempting to flee the scene, eventually being found and arrested by police in an airport parking lot.
In this incident, Tsui came to the attention of airport security when he tried to underpay his taxicab driver, who followed him into the airport terminal.
Ammunition for the .45 caliber Colt handgun was found in his luggage. A subsequent search with a warrant of Tsui’s home uncovered more weapons including prohibited assault weapons, a butterfly knife, brass knuckles, a Tazer and a small quantity of high explosives. Also found were marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth and vials of THC.
Including pre-trial custody, Tsui spent 2 years and 8 months in custody.
Tsui also has a criminal record from incidents in St. Catharines in 2012 and 2013, including theft under, obstructing a peace officer and fleeing the scene of an accident.
Tsui testified he was under the influence of crystal meth at the time of the airport incident, and had been using the substance daily for two years. He said his memory is vague about why he brought the gun to the airport but said he was not aiming to hurt anyone. He said he was very afraid of something but could not say what.
He did say it was water in the vials police said contained THC and he also said he did not have any cocaine despite the police report documenting its discovery in his home.
He likewise was very vague about the circumstances of his Niagara Region (St. Catharines) criminal convictions, saying only that one set of convictions related to shoplifting some posters from a Canadian Tire store.
He blamed his crimes on bad company and his meth use on undefined “family problems.”
He said he had been “obsessed” by the military and that is why he “collected” the weapons.
Tsui told the panel he turned his life around while in jail, stopped using drugs, discovered religion and now reads the Bible, and has put his past behind him.
He still reports to a parole officer and will until January 2019.
He currently works part time as a bartender for a catering company but wants to see if he can do better as an entertainer. He said he now works out and keeps himself fit.
The City expressed serious concerns about his criminal record and safeguarding public safety, particularly with his history of drug use and owning illegal weapons.
Gourlay recognized that Tsui’s record has been clean for five years but a good part of that time was spent in prison. And while Tsui says he has stopped using drugs, he is not taking advantage of various support groups available, effectively going it alone. Also, while he says he is now religious, he admits he is not a regular churchgoer and has no support in that area either.
He pointed out that early next year, Tsui would also no longer have the check of reporting to a parole officer.
Finally, Gourlay pointed out that working as an entertainer in clubs late at night, the temptations to fall back into old habits would be immense, a situation the City found concerning.
Tsui maintained he would not be tempted and has turned his life around.
The panel, after deliberating, decided not to grant the license, with written reasons to follow.
But after Tsui asked if he could apply again, Simon told him he could, but suggested he should wait a year or two or even longer to allow time to prove he was no longer a risk.