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Surrey man takes fight for free hospital parking across Canada

Last Updated Jul 2, 2019 at 8:46 am PDT

(Simon Druker, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Gary Hee first started the petition in April, saying parking fees at Emergency Rooms add stress for patients

Hee is expanding his campaign across Canada, after hearing hospitals across the country charge parking fees

The petition will be launched in September, when members of parliament return to Ottawa

LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) – Efforts to scrap parking fees at Emergency Rooms is gaining momentum, thanks to a petition from a Surrey man.

Gary Hee first started the petition in April, saying parking fees at Emergency Rooms added another layer of stress to families and patients.

“One of the problems with emergency rooms is the long line ups. People are waiting as much as four hours or more. In the meantime, their parking meter is ticking away,” Hee says. “Even if they thought two hours was adequate, they were waiting three hours in the emergency department to even see someone, so now they have to pay a parking fine for $48.”

He says he’s gotten a lot of support for his campaign, which calls for the Township of Langley to look at ways to remove parking fees at Langley Memorial Hospital. So far he’s received more than 3,500 signatures.

But after hearing from people in other provinces, Hee was spurred to expand his efforts, through an online campaign with the hopes of getting 50,000 signatures across Canada.

“They paid thousands and thousands of dollars in parking fines, thinking they had to pay it. I feel that it is sad.”

Hee plans on launching his online petition in September when members of parliament return to Ottawa, and he’s hoping some kind of action can be taken following October’s federal election.

“If not, I tried my best, and we’ll see if people in Langley will have to continue to pay $4.50 an hour for emergency space into a vending machine that has no humanity or compassion at all.”