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Canada Hospital paid parking a 'bluff' without real penalties, critics say

16:10  22 january  2020
16:10  22 january  2020 Source:   vancouversun.com

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Pay parking tickets at hospitals are a " bluff " that lead to virtually no vehicles towed and penalizes staff, according to new statistics. Each ticket is a fine. “There is really no consequences from parking at a parking lot at a hospital and not paying ,” said Jon Buss, spokesman for

“ Without any details, this is just lip-service,” Clarke said of the promised relief. “We have no idea what it is that they’re proposing: how they’re going to target, how they’re going to  Hospital paid parking a ' bluff ' without real penalties , critics say Daphne Bramham: Outspoken activist against polygamy dies.

a car parked in front of a building: Vehicles parked outside a Lower Mainland hospital.© Arlen Redekop Vehicles parked outside a Lower Mainland hospital.

VICTORIA — Pay parking at hospitals is a “bluff” system of unenforceable tickets that lead to virtually no vehicles towed and disproportionately penalizes the health care staff working at those sites, according to new statistics obtained by an anti-pay-parking group.

Approximately 67 per cent of the 13,105 parking tickets issued at Vancouver Island hospitals were to nurses, health care workers, physicians and other staff at those hospitals, according to 2018-19 stats obtained under the Freedom of Information law by advocacy group HospitalPayParking.ca .

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“I would say our decision-making was key,” head coach Mike Hawkins said post-game. “That was a bit of our downfall last year, just with having so many first-year Hospital paid parking a ' bluff ' without real penalties , critics say . B.C. lawyer James Comparelli disbarred after taking money from an estate.

Not a single public vehicle was towed in that year at any Island hospital for failing to pay parking fines, the data showed. However, 13 staff vehicles were towed due to what Island Health said were between 13 and 35 unpaid tickets. Each ticket is a $25 fine.

“There is really no consequences from parking at a parking lot at a hospital and not paying,” said Jon Buss, spokesman for HospitalPayParking, which is advocating to eliminate paid parking at hospitals. “You’ll get a ticket, and it looks intentionally like a city-issued ticket, but it’s not. It’s a show. There’s more bark than bite.”

Island Health said in statement it would only tow public visitors “in extreme circumstances, for example their vehicle blocking an emergency access,” and otherwise it has clear guidelines that are empathetic to those who get tickets. Around 26 per cent of tickets were cancelled last year, and 38 per cent remain unpaid.

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How you pay a parking ticket or penalty charge notice depends on what type it is and who issued it. Penalty charge notice (PCN). As well as for parking , you can get a PCN for: breaking some traffic rules, for example going against a ‘no right turn’ sign or driving in a bus lane.

Florida handicapped parking sign with details of the penalty for offenders. If the assistive device significantly restores his/her ability to walk to the extent that he/she can walk without severe limitation, he/she will no longer be eligible for the exemption parking permit.

It’s meaningless for the public to even pay for parking, or subsequent fines, if the overall compliance rate is only roughly one-third and no public vehicles will ever be towed, said Buss.

“It’s a bluff,” said Buss. “What backs this operation is a bunch of rhetoric and threats and lies, and this is borne out in the evidence.”

It’s unclear if the pay parking statistics are the same at Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health authorities because the agency with the mandate for parking, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), has refused to release the data under FOI, said Buss. His organization has appealed to the independent privacy commissioner.

A PHSA spokesman said Tuesday the agency will attempt to compile the numbers voluntarily for release later this week.

a man standing in a parking lot:  Jon Buss, pictured outside Surrey Memorial Hospital last year, says new statistics he obtained show the pay parking system at hospitals is an unenforceable bluff.© Mike Bell Jon Buss, pictured outside Surrey Memorial Hospital last year, says new statistics he obtained show the pay parking system at hospitals is an unenforceable bluff.

Statistics at the Interior Health Authority released Tuesday showed no public vehicles were towed due to any of the 19,401 parking ticket violations issued in the last year, but three staff vehicles were towed.

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How to appeal a parking charge notice, penalty charge notice or fixed penalty notice in England How to appeal depends on the type of parking ticket you have - check what the ticket says before Don’t pay a parking ticket that you’re appealing. Usually, paying is seen as admitting the ticket was

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Health authorities have for years generated revenue from parking lots by hiring private companies to patrol and enforce their fees. Robbins Parking is the contractor on the Island, while Impark is the contractor for hospitals in Metro Vancouver and the rest of the province.

Critics argue that pay parking — which ranges by health authority, but at the Vancouver General Hospital parkade is $3 per half hour or $18.75 per day — creates a financial barrier within the health-care system and is unfair to stressed and grieving visitors. But the government has said the revenue is necessary.

“The revenue stream from pay parking covers the cost of parking infrastructure, maintenance, lighting, painting, security and snow removal,” said Island Health’s statement.

Revenue generated from parking fees at all health authorities is approximately $40 million annually, up from $15 million in 2003.

Health Minister Adrian Dix has said he’s reviewing the hospital parking issue. B.C. NDP members passed a resolution late last year calling on the NDP government to scrap paid parking at hospitals.

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Workers, meanwhile, are not pleased at getting the brunt of the tickets.

“It’s quite concerning to hear so many staff at Island Health are getting these kind of tickets,” said Christine Sorensen, president of the B.C. Nurses’ Union. There is currently a B.C.-wide nursing shortage, and existing nurses are forced to work long hours with frequent overtime and can’t just suddenly leave a patient who may be in crisis to top up a parking meter, she said.

There’s a chronic shortage of parking at facilities, and staff often don’t feel comfortable parking blocks away and returning to their vehicles in isolated areas at night, said Mike Old, spokesman for the Hospital Employees’ Union.

“The statistics indicate it’s a big problem,” he said. “There’s two solutions, one is that there’s adequate parking for staff at hospitals and the other one is we have more extensive and frequent public transit.”

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