‘Enough’ with pay parking at our hospitals

Health authorities, such as Fraser Health, are targeting sick people by charging them for parking at hospitals,

Editor, The News:

Residents of Maple Ridge, I  have tried endlessly over the past five months to get our $100,000-a-year mayor Ernie Daykin, and his $40,000-a-year councillors to direct our $145,000-a-year director of bylaws to produce a bylaw banning paid parking at Ridge Meadows Hospital and Bailey House.

Now one of the councillors tells me she is informed that this is a provincial issue, not municipal.

I have asked what is the difference between Delta and Maple Ridge, are not both municipalities?

Delta has no paid parking at its hospital, or the Ladner transit station.

It would appear that the buck is being passed off to the province and that our local politicians don’t want to upset Fraser Health.

I was also informed that the grounds the hospital and Bailey House sit on are private property, belonging to Fraser Health, which apparently years ago was donated to build these structures.

Where does Fraser Health get its money from?  The government.

Where does the government get its money?  From the  taxpayers.

Therefore, this is public property.

Marketplace on CBC just aired a   documentary about hospital parking across Canada, which by the way was very informative.

The conclusion is that the different health authorities, such as Fraser Health, are targeting sick people by charging them for parking at hospitals, not to mention the doctors, nurses and all the other support staff who attend the hospitals to help sick people.

Regardless of them being paid, they shouldn’t  have to pay to park at a hospital to help people out.

When we look around the world at different countries,  we see people standing up and saying, ‘enough.’

All levels of government waste considerable amounts of money.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson stated on TV that what’s needed is some creative pencil sharpening to find money somewhere else,  not from the sick.

Ms. Jackson said that in Delta, it was a simple solution: the municipality created a bylaw and banned paid parking at the hospital and at Ladner station.

I have presented Maple Ridge council with some viable solutions so the hospital wouldn’t be out its $400,000 from paid parking.

I also collected 80 signatures from people objecting to paid parking and presented them to council.

Any money  that comes in from tickets,  Impark keeps 100 per cent, except for a commission to the employee who issues the ticket.

Then forthcoming are the endless horror stories from these violations.

One nurse, who pays each month for parking, had to park in a visitor spot because the lot was full.  She was ticketed.

Volunteers with  proper parking passes on the dashes have been ticketed.

If our present elected officials are not willing to step up and get rid of paid parking,  then we need to elect individuals who will.

Rus Curnew

Maple Ridge