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Dix announces free parking at B.C. hospitals

Minister Adrian Dix announced at his press conference at 1:30 p.m.
Health Minister Adrian Dix at Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody, when he announced the expansion of the emergency ward. File photo by Fraser Health

Minister Adrian Dix announced at his press conference at 1:30 p.m. today that hospital parking will be free for everyone, stating:

* In an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we are suspending pay parking for the patients, staff, and visitors at all health authority owned and operated sites, effective April 1 until further notice.

* This change makes it easier for individuals to avoid touching screens and buttons at payment kiosks that may have been touched by someone previously and also supports physical distancing measures that have been mandated by our Provincial Health Officer.

* Health authorities will provide updates at their sites on this change of practice at each of their individual sites.


Parking for health care workers and patients should be free at hospitals during the global pandemic, the mayor of Port Coquitlam said earlier in the day.

Monday, Mayor Brad West wrote to Health Minister Adrian Dix asking him to waive parking fees while hospitals are handling COVID-19 cases.

West said he has also spoken with PoCo MLA Mike Farnworth— B.C.'s solicitor general — about free parking at hospitals.

His plea comes after hearing stories from constituents and friends working in health care about having to pull late shifts and running out to plug parking metres so they don't face tickets.

"I just think it's incredibly disrespectful to charge them," West said. "Nurses and health care workers have had to sneak out to pay for parking."

West said his call applies to all hospitals in B.C., not just Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody.

And after the crisis passes, West said he would like Dix to consider making hospital parking free permanently for everyone.

A request to Dix's office for comment was not immediately returned.

Christine Sorensen, president of the BC Nurses Union, has also asked for similar measures to help ease the financial stress for health care workers.

A number of online campaigns are up to press for reform on hospital parking in B.C. such as

In January, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart joined Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum criticizing the provincial government for parking fines at hospitals.