Editor, The News:
Re: Singers demand free hospital parking (The News, Dec. 14).
As president of Branch 88, Royal Canadian Legion Maple Ridge, I would like to extend my complete sympathy to the singers who received parking tickets while putting on a concert at Baillie House.
For many years, Branch 88 has had a sick and visiting committee, which visits our veterans and members at Ridge Meadows Hospital, Baillie House and Ridge Meadows Hospice on a weekly basis.
For all of these years we were allowed to park on the strength of displaying a Royal Canadian Legion sign clearly visible on the dash.
Those days are obviously gone as our sick and visiting committee members now receive parking tickets up to $85 from Impark.
Early in the year, we complained to hospital management, who did everything possible to allow us to continue these invaluable visits, including issuing a hospital parking pass to our legion branch.
This hospital parking pass and the legion signage is totally ignored by Impark staff.
On calling to challenge the tickets, Ridge Meadows Hospital and hospital foundation staff can only offer us sympathy as their employees are in precisely the same boat.
Calls to Impark are met with total indifference and the stated impression that they are operating a business to make money and have no interest in the welfare of the patients or those trying to bring some comfort into their lives.
Our veterans and their dependents deserve better.
Our community deserves better.
Please add us to the list of those who recognize the need for free parking at our health facilities as is done in other Lower Mainland communities.
Jim MacDonald, President
Royal Canadian Legion