The following is an open letter to Mayor Larry Jangula, regarding the hospital parking:
Dear Mayor Jangula,
There’s mounting concern by taxpayers for having to pay for parking at our new hospital. This has piqued my interest so I thought maybe we need to look at this from another perspective.
Medical emergencies, loved ones in care, medical tests/exploration….you go to the hospital. You go there only when you need to. When you go….you park your car and pay the parking fee. There’s no alternative to the hospital. It’s unlike going to shop on Fifth Street where there is no parking fee.
If there were a parking fee on Fifth Street people may very well choose to shop where there is no parking fee, e.g. a local mall. Should the city decide to put parking meters on Fifth Street you can bet there would be an uproar by vendors and passively by shoppers.
Look at other parking within this jurisdiction for example: the city, the regional district and the Vancouver Island Health Authority employees parking lots. Research finds that none of these employees pay for parking at their work location. Yet some of these employees are the same people who make the decision to have pay parking at the hospital. So, it seems that the decision makers are making decisions about ‘other’ peoples’ parking costs but not their own.
I recognize you are not able to arbitrarily decide whether patrons of the hospital pay or not for parking but you certainly can advocate on our behalf.
Pay parking at the hospital has also adversely impacted public use of the Aquatic Centre and North Island College, who need now to take evasive action to avoid implications of the hospital charging for parking. Who benefits from this?
This is ‘our’ hospital as although it is stated we, the taxpayers of the Comox Valley, pay 40 per cent while the balance comes from Province. I trust as our elected officials that this matter reflect a more sensitive outcome.