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Vancouver woman ticketed while dropping off groceries questions city priorities amid pandemic

Last Updated Mar 27, 2020 at 11:33 pm PDT

FILE - Vancouver has been receiving complaints about too many drivers taking advantage of relaxed parking enforcement during the pandemic. (NEWS 1130) (Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

Lindsay McGill got a parking ticket while dropping off groceries for a friend and is planning to dispute it

Other Canadian cities have stopped levying parking fines due to the pandemic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A Vancouver woman is wondering why the city is still giving out parking tickets during the COVID-19 pandemic, after getting one while dropping off groceries at a friend’s house.

Lindsay McGill says she and a friend have been splitting grocery shopping duties in an effort to practise social distancing and minimize crowding in stores.

On March 17 around 9 p.m. she estimates she left her car parked for four minutes–the amount of time it took for her to dart to her friend’s door and drop off some food.

She came back to a $46 ticket from the City of Vancouver.

“Right now I don’t have the money. I’m a contract worker so I lost both my contracts, and I don’t even have money to pay this,” she says.

“I just don’t think people right now should be getting a parking ticket when they can’t even afford to eat.”

She acknowledges that not putting a quarter in the meter wasn’t the right decision, but thinks doling out fines shouldn’t be a priority for the city during the pandemic.

“It just didn’t seem that it’s an essential service, that people need to be getting parking tickets right now from the city.”

McGill says she plans on accessing the provincial rent subsidy and funds from the federal government, but that money hasn’t started flowing to people just yet.

She called the city to plead her case, but was told the law is the law.

If she doesn’t pay by April 21 the infraction will cost her $117.

She does plan to dispute the ticket.

“I’m just going to see the level of compassion that the City of Vancouver has right now,” she says.

McGill says she understands other Canadian cities have stopped issuing tickets and she hopes Vancouver will follow suit.

NEWS 1130 has reached out to the city for comment.

The website says: “Parking enforcement is continuing as normal.”