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Enforcement being stepped up to prevent exploitation of free parking at B.C. hospitals

Last Updated Apr 4, 2020 at 9:53 am PDT

FILE - St. Paul's Hospital.
Summary

Health Minister Adrian Dix said free parking is meant for those who must be at hospitals

Enforcement will be prioritized at hospitals with already scarce parking like St. Paul's

Dix did not say what the consequences would be for those caught

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Parking enforcement is going to be stepped up at some hospitals because some people are taking advantage of the free parking during the pandemic.

Fees were eliminated at B.C,. hospitals last week in an effort to ease the burden on frontline workers and patients who need to access hospitals during the pandemic.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday that parking lots will be monitored in an effort to ensure only staff, patients, or visitors are using the cost-free spots.

“People need to know the decision to go to free parking was to support our health care workers and to support people who need to use hospital services right now. It’s unacceptable if people are misusing parking that’s been made available for free,” he explained.

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He said particular attention will be paid to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and Royal Columbian in New Westminster where spaces are scarce.

“Particularly at hospitals such as Royal Columbian (in New Westminster) where there was a long waitlist to get a parking space and that has caused some difficulties, so we are working hard, even though parking may be free, it’s our intention to ensure that everybody who parks does so with legitimate reason,” Dix said.

 

Dix said enforcement would be “stepped up” but did not indicate what the consequences will be for people caught taking advantage of free parking.