内容

我“告了”那位乱丢食品的邻居
I filed a 311 complaint against a “bad” neighbour

 
 
在中国没有一家用来解决生活中出现的各种麻烦的官方机构。从深夜舞会的大声喧哗到给你的健康或安全造成隐患的不良行为,你那不守规矩的邻居会让你平静的生活环境受到干扰 – 而你要么默默忍受、要么铤而走险,暴力反击,除此之外没有更好的其他选择。

In China, there is no system to address real atrocities in life.  if your bad neighbour’s behaviour causes disruption to your peaceful living environment – from a loud noise of an overnight party to acts causing health or safety hazard, you may have either to suck it up or to risk violence by taking the law into your own hands. 


在加拿大,这些冲突可以通过向政府投诉来解决。你可通过手机拨打多伦多311服务而轻而易举地对那名不守规矩的邻居进行举报。

In Canada, such matters can be addressed through private complaints. Toronto 311 services and cellphone has made it incredibly easy to report a bad neighbour.


我就曾采取如此手段向市政府投诉了我工作单位周边的一家邻居。这个邻居是家佛堂,也许是教道所规,佛堂的主人经常将拨了皮的橘子以及揭了盖子的奶酪罐头和酸奶丢在人行道旁的树下。在炎热的夏季,这些食品很快腐烂,吸引了大批苍蝇,蚊子和蜜蜂,影响午那些休时散步或在树荫下享受午餐人们的健康。即使在我与该佛堂主就此交涉后的几个星期,佛堂依然故我地乱丢食物垃圾。在我向311拨打举报电话后,那些腐烂食品,连带那些环绕其间的蝇虫们瞬间消失了。

I filed a complaint against a neighbour at my work -- a Buddhist temple that had regularly left food items – from naked oranges to cans of cheese and yogurt without a lid on -- scattered around a tree on the side walk. The food got rotten quickly during hot summer days, and attracted waves of flies, mosquitoes and bees, creating health risks for people walking by or enjoying their lunch break outside. The food-scattering had lasted for weeks on end – even after I approached the owner with my concerns over health risks. But it took only a 311-phone call to see these foul food items, along with the flight of insects surrounding them disappear from the site altogether.


在加拿大,投诉市政违规行为在那些有社会责任感的公民之间屡见不鲜。每年,从邻里噪音和栅栏的过高,到狗咬人和私种大麻,多伦多市要对5万多起针对私家住所和周边环境等问题进行调查,而大部分的调查都缘由于市民的投诉。

Reporting by-law violations is a common practice among responsible members of the Canadian society. Each year, the city of Toronto launches roughly 50,000 investigations into property or environmental concerns – from noise and fence height to dog biting and grow-ops – mostly resulting from residents’ complaints.


鲍勃是我家小区内一名视己为“住宅检察员”的邻居,常常因邻居违规而发起311投诉。由于他的投诉,小区内一家出租房的租客们被消防部门下了逐客令,而那家完全由学生租用的邻家住所因其草坪的草长达半身高而遭市府派人前来割草,并因此收到一张$1,000元的账单。
 
Bob, one of the guys from my home neighbourhood is a frequent complainant – who took upon himself to act like a “neighbourhood inspector”. Resulting from his complaints, a rooming house on the street was shut down by the fire department, and his next-door neighbour occupied by college students received a thousand dollar-bill after their half-body - long grass was cut by the city contractors. 


他说:“要想维护我们这个小区的物业价值,我们就不能等闲视之......投诉各种违规也是市民应尽的各种责任之一......”。

“If we want to maintain the property value in our neighbourhood, we should do something… Reporting violations has also been part of residents’ civil responsibilities,” he said.


但鲍勃和我自己都不是那种没事找事的乱投诉者。有些人会在街上四处找茬,为一点鸡毛大的小事惊动311投诉热线,比如那家的栅栏高度有点出格,或某人的小狗偶尔乱叫几声等。事实上,这些市政违规投诉也使导致邻里街区产生矛盾和不和的根源,因为投诉双方很容易失去理智,把一件小事弄得不可收拾。
 
But neither Bob nor myself were among the vexatious Complainants who roam the street with a measuring tape, making numerous 311 phone calls about neighbours over trivia matters such as fence height or an occasional dog bark. In fact, by-law complaints could be a source of resentful and angry disputes in the neighbourhood communities as those involved would quickly lose perspective and blow the whole thing out of proportion. 


有些被投诉的邻居不能冷静地面对邻居的不满,而是心怀怨恨甚至采取报复行动,结果使双方矛盾日益加深。在某些情况下,有311起投诉引发了耗时多年、及高达成千上万元律师费用的法庭官司。多伦多星报报道说,去年,一名住在“士嘉堡中心”选区的居民因栅栏高度,树篱,长草等非明显违规行为发起了近100件311投诉,而其中大部分是为了报复那些曾投诉过他本人者。这些无理取闹的投诉可能会让房主花上数千元来上诉,或花上万元的费用为“合规”进行整修,比如稍稍降低栅栏高度或加宽过窄的车道等。

Instead of calmly addressing their problems that caused disruptions to other residents, some complained party would dwell on the negative and embark on a journey of revenge, leaving matters spiraling out of control. In some cases, 311 complaints had led full-blown court battles that cost thousands of dollars of legal fees and years of fighting and arguments in court. According to the Star, in Scarborough Centre ward last year, one resident made nearly 100 complaints about fence height, hedges, long grass and other obscure infractions, mostly in retaliation for complaints he received from others.  These vexatious complaints can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars to appeal or thousands to fix a minor offence – such as lower a fence or reverse a slightly widened driveway. 


在投诉我办公室附近的佛堂两天后,一名我公司附近从未出现过的交通警察向我发出“违章停车”的警告,而我并未怀疑自己成了“报复投诉”的受害者,而是平静地把车开走,并决定不采取任何会造成与这名邻居更多冲突的行动。

Two days after filing the complaint against the Buddhist temp in my workplace neighbourhood, I received an “illegal parking” warning from a parking by-law officer, who had never shown up in the area before. But instead of acting on my speculations that I’ve become one of the victims of “revenge complaints”, I calmly pulled my car away and decided to not take any actions to avoid further conflicts with the neighbour.    
 
 

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