Eastern Health parking court case clears a hurdle

James
James McLeod
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Tom Badcock appeared in Supreme Court Monday. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

Tom Badcock will get his day in court to argue that parking fees at hospitals are illegal.

During a brief appearance in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Badcock represented himself Monday morning, and Justice Valerie Marshall set   Feb. 15 as the date for the issue to be hashed out in court.

Badcock, a cancer patient, has been fighting Eastern Health over parking fees at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s.

He told reporters his position essentially boils down to the fact the Canada Health Act says people cannot be charged a fee for health-care service, and by charging for parking, the hospital effectively creates a cost for patients.

“I have no idea what the law is, all I know is what the Canada Health Act says,” Badcock said.

“The Canada Health Act says you can’t charge people to see your doctor. Whether there’s a separate law, I guess we’ll find out when Mr. Hogan (the Eastern Health lawyer) files his memorandum. Then I’ll see if there’s a specific law.”

“If there’s a specific law, then of course I may have to consult a lawyer, but up to this point, I see nothing other than the Canada Health Act itself, which has directed that there shall be no charges.”

Between now and his date in court, Badcock will deal with a flurry of other legal wrangling. Eastern Health is trying to get the case thrown out as an “abuse of process,” and Badcock has filed a separate application with the court, asking a judge to place an injunction on further parking fees at the hospital until the matter is settled.

Badcock told reporters Monday the issue of parking fees is a problem right across the country, and he cannot fathom why nobody has challenged them before.

“In Toronto, I believe, it costs $54 a day to park at a hospital. That’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “I have no idea why nobody has challenged it. I know a lot of people have complained about it, and why some lawyer hasn’t picked up on it, I don’t know. Because lawyers get sick, their families get sick.”

A spokeswoman for Eastern Health said that the health authority is working its way through the court system, but from what they can tell, there’s “no basis” for the legal challenge.

Badcock said he’s not worried about the fact that he’s representing himself.

“This is all an administrative process. I’ve been an administrator and a manager my entire life,” he said. “I have the rules of the Supreme Court just the same as a lawyer has. I can read them just as well as a lawyer can.”

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: Health Sciences Centre, Supreme Court

Geographic location: Eastern Health, Canada, Toronto

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Recent comments

  • eeky
    January 11, 2013 - 11:45

    now mr badcoock ,i would like 2 c u put this one 2 vote ,i ,m afraid u would have 99.9 percent behind u ,lol,the other .01 percent would be kATHYS ,WELL WE WONT GO THERE ,,HAHA,wishing u the best and i hopes u wins bigtime ,the whole city is with u on this ,and dont think u aint being talked about ,an in good terms

  • yo mama
    January 10, 2013 - 07:32

    Doris and Ginger are illiterate.

  • EDfromRED
    January 08, 2013 - 11:13

    wonder when the next new government gets elected how many of these "commenter's" will just disappear like magic?

  • Mun Student
    January 08, 2013 - 10:21

    Please don't tarnish all Mun Students. I pay for a reserved parking space to attend school and it's not at the Health Sciences. The money I earn from working in between attending school goes towards my parking fees. I had to forget winning the lottery and I was lucky enough to obtain a parking permit at another location. I will not give that up if it breaks the bank. My grandfather who availed of the Cancer Clinic and lived out of town had to depend on family to get him to his treatments and appointments along with a few volunteers(God bless them). There needs to be more done to address the parking issue other than the new parking garage.

  • ginger
    January 08, 2013 - 10:16

    Seriously people...this is 2013-you think the law is going to change for some self pittying man? If your well enough to be complaining and b¥tching about a few dollars to park your rig-your well enough to be a man and dish out a couple dollars! There is a reason your sitting there alone I'd say!!

  • gb
    January 08, 2013 - 09:50

    I read recently that political parties read these comments and then they all get together and respond and send in comments to tilt the view towards a particular objective. I'm just thinking now about the person who just watched his mom pass away and then comes out to see that ticket on his car.That and the fact that it may very well be illegal to charge for parking. Now all you political hacks who just left comments on here..you can all go to H$#%. I can tell just from the lack of any thought in your comments that you either work for the copporation or a politcal party. For example..someone said MUN students will park there......well obviously then theres a need for approprate parking at MUN for their students so you simply have to construct adequate parking for them...instead of punishing the whole world because you, your corporation and maybe the political party behind the insane comments that were left on here are too incompetent to do the correct thing.

  • Not Gonna Win
    January 08, 2013 - 09:49

    The basis of his claim is that he must drive his vehicle to see a doctor at the hospital. The Courts have already made it clear that driving is not a right but a privilege. He has alternatives to driving such as taking a cab, a bus, walking, or being dropped off by a friend or family. If he did win then all the hospital has to do is sell the parking lot to private. In that situation the hospital is not charging him anything. Of course a private operator will be working for a profit which will mean higher fees for everyone. Some people just gotta learn by making mistakes.

  • Dan
    January 08, 2013 - 09:39

    I don't think there will be more staff parking at the lot at HSC, they get permits now so that is not an issue. I wish Mr.Badcock luck, I think he will lose but at least he is trying something other than just complaining and doing nothing. Oh and Doris chill out, your blood pressure must be high!! And proof read please!

    • RM
      January 08, 2013 - 09:49

      HSC staff do get permits but they have to pay for them, and in the mindset of alot of people why pay when you can get something for free. Also so of the staff parking is in the new garage across the street and through the trail which is a nice walk and the parking spots are closer. i'm not saying all staff would do it but there is a few

    • RM
      January 08, 2013 - 11:21

      For starters, I neither work for "the corporation" or a political party. I do however understand what parking at MUN can be, having been a MUN student. I have seen them and been part of parking in Churchill Square cause there are no meters in areas and the lots were full. There are some students who would park at the HSC because it would be free and have available spots, plain and simple. As for your comment on building a new parking structure, do you have the millions of dollars it takes to build a new one, cause the University can't just make the funds appear to do it.

  • Irene
    January 08, 2013 - 09:13

    One problem with free parking - MUN students, staff and faculty will be arriving early and taking all the spaces. I'm surprised no one has suggested that patients who have to go to the hospital for daily or weekly treatments be given free parking passes.

  • Edward Sawdon
    January 08, 2013 - 09:01

    Why is it that we don't have to pay for parking at the Avalon Mall, the Village Mall nor Stravanger Lane nor Kelsey Drive nor Ropewalk Lane nor any of shopping malls and medical clinics outside of downtown St. John's but we have to pay parking at the Health Sciences? If a Hospital Outpatient comes to HSC for a Doctor's or Specialist app't or a test or treatment, then they should be exempt from paying any parking fees.

  • EDfromRED
    January 08, 2013 - 08:58

    Those here from the Confederation Building 8th floor raise your hands...then get back to robbing us blind!

  • G.R.
    January 08, 2013 - 08:43

    There seems to be two things in question here; One should people have to pay for parking when going to see a Dr. or to have test ect.. & I say No they shouldn't & agree with Mr. Badcock on that issue BUT Now we need to lood at what RM said; "Patients paying for parking is wrong but you have to look at it from the other aspect of if the meters are removed everyone is going to be parking there from hospital staff to MUN students and as a result there will be less parking for patients that need the spaces. So for now its a lesser of two evils pay a small fee or have no place to park" So I feel the answer here is an easy one Leave the Paid Parking in place BUT if someone goes in for tests or to see a Dr. they should be given a Slip to pass to the Parking Lot attendent so they DO NOT have to pay for the time they where parked there.

  • Doris
    January 08, 2013 - 08:32

    I agree with Ginger .Mr Badcock can stand in front of the camera,s with his North Face coat on ,and don,t want to pay for parking,it's not that he can,t afford it he just wants to see how far can he get with the publicity that he wants.Why don,t you think of the poor person who has to grab a taxi,or the one who has to stand on a bus stop,don,t you think they would rather throw $10.00 in a meter then and have the convenience of a comfortable ride to their appointment.I was at the HSC just recently I could,nt even get of the parking lot,because this driver who had a big kick ass Toyoto Tundra was refusing to pay,he had no regards for anyone that were tired up on the lot,the police were called hundreds of people were jammed there.He should have been arrested and charged with upstuction.Maybe it was Badcock himself.don,t be fooling yourself he is not doing this for you or me.Google his name he is looking for publicity for himself.Grow up Mr Badcock .

  • RM
    January 08, 2013 - 08:16

    Patients paying for parking is wrong but you have to look at it from the other aspect of if the meters are removed everyone is going to be parking there from hospital staff to MUN students and as a result there will be less parking for patients that need the spaces. So for now its a lesser of two evils pay a small fee or have no place to park

  • Anna
    January 08, 2013 - 08:11

    the new parking facilities at the Health Science are the worse ever, you wait for 20 min to get off the lot it is the most inefficient system they could have come up with. Mr. Badcock is to be commended for bringing this matter to court, I wish we all had his courage.

  • RM
    January 08, 2013 - 08:08

    Patients paying for parking is wrong but you have to look at it from the other aspect of if the meters are removed everyone is going to be parking there from hospital staff to MUN students and as a result there will be less parking for patients that need the spaces. So for now its a lesser of two evils pay a small fee or have no place to park

  • Sam Julias
    January 08, 2013 - 08:04

    I admire the fight but also undertand the need to meter this parking. If the meters are removed it will become free parking for MUN students. How do you police that?

  • Get real
    January 08, 2013 - 08:04

    Thanks Mr.Badcock for standing up to this BS parking fee. You are one of only a few Newfs who would ever stand up and do something instead of just complaining about it! Good Luck with it. If it don't work out for you, maybe an ignoramus such as Ginger can pay the fees for you.

  • Anon to Ginger
    January 08, 2013 - 07:48

    he's doing this so you, me, and anyone else who needs to go to the hospital for cancer, visitation or otherwise don't have to pay unlawful fees to access our health care which we are legally entitled to receive for free. You should think a little bit.

  • well
    January 08, 2013 - 07:35

    Number one there should never be parking meters at any health care site for any reason , but then again we all know how greedy the Newfoundland goverment has become hell tom dont forget they even make you pay for a wheelchair. sorta makes you wonder when your goingot have to pay to sit in the waiting room and yes thats comming to.SUCK UP THAT ONE GINGER!!!!!

  • Mary
    January 08, 2013 - 07:34

    Personally, I think it is very small of this man for making such a big fuss over something so trivial. Who do you think should pay for the upkeep of the parking lot,clearing snow, paying the gate attendants etc.? I think it is great that we can pay our parking costs before we leave the hospital. Suck it up.

    • hslaw
      January 08, 2013 - 08:03

      Mary maybe you don't realizw 2% of your income tax is supposed to go towards that Much the same as the price of a coat at walmart has a profit margin to look after their parking lots

  • gb
    January 08, 2013 - 07:22

    The parking lot is health corporation property. Using their property to avail of their services and being charged a fee for same is contrary to the law in my opinion. I hope Mr. Badcock wins his case and this illegal practice stops. We pay taxes to support our health care system and they also obtainn revenue from other sources. Nickel and diming their clients by charging parking fees to park on their property when you are availing of thier services is outragious. Maybe Mr Badcocks' case will set a precedent and this practice of charging their clients will stop all across the country.

  • Glenn Brazil
    January 08, 2013 - 07:03

    Of course this poor soul will eventually be crushed by an uncaring elitist system, but it is so refreshing to see him or anyone stand up fo that matter. Taxes and even another of our great social lies "lottery proceeds" are supposed to support our health care system, yet the Costco dumbedowned sheep unquestioningly accept parking fees at hospitals, right across the country.......outrageous, but sadly not newsworthy as Kathy's tan, weightloss, or losing her bay accent

  • ginger
    January 08, 2013 - 06:37

    Sir, who do you think you are? You are no different from the rest of us!!! Suck it up and pay your dues!!

    • mr
      January 08, 2013 - 07:28

      @ Ginger - this man is fighting for ALL of us, in the hopes of banishing parking fees for all patients who need to have tests, treatment or see Dr.'s at the hospitals. He is not just trying to back out of paying the parking fees for himself - I applaude him.

    • SW
      January 08, 2013 - 07:37

      Ginger, if he wins this fight and you don't have to pay for hospital parking again, I doubt you'll be complaining about it, and you'll have Mr. Badcock to thank for it. He should be commended for fighting for something the rest of us don't have the guts to fight for against a big corporation.