UPDATE: Court grants application that tosses out parking fees case

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Tom Badcock is pictured this morning addressing reporters in St. John's. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Newfoundland Supreme Court has put the parking brake on Tom Baddock's drive to get an injunction preventing him from being ticketed at parking lots of Eastern Health hospitals.

Newfoundland Supreme Court today granted an application by Eastern Health to dismiss Badcock’s application for an injunction to prevent him from getting any more parking tickets at Eastern Health facilities.

The ruling was made this afternoon.

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(Earlier story)

A Newfoundland Supreme Court justice will rule this afternoon whether to accept an application by Eastern Health to dismiss Tom Badcock’s application for an injunction to prevent him from getting any more parking tickets at Eastern Health hospitals.

Arguments were held in court this morning.

Badcock claims that parking fees at hospitals are a violation of the Canada Health Act, since he says they effectively mean that people have to pay to see a doctor.

A cancer survivor, Badcock has been involved in a protracted battle over parking fees he's had to pay at the Health Sciences Centre where he went for treatment.

Eastern Health is arguing abuse of process, that the court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to delve into Badcock’s application, and that it is a matter for the political arena.

Justice Donald Burrage is expected to make his ruling this afternoon.

Bascock told reporters outside the courtroom, he's hoping the judge will rule in his favour, but he's not totally confident.

Whatever the outcome, Badcock maintains it's still not morally or legally right for the health authority to charge people to park at hospitals. "It's stressful on them, medically stressful, financially stressful," he said.

Badcock said he can afford the parking fees, but there are many people who can't.

"The board of directors go on trips two or three times a year to warm climes, paid for by the health-care dollar and yet they can't put a system in place to help poor people pay for their parking," Badcock said.

 

Organizations: Health Sciences Centre

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • Petty Parking?
    February 18, 2013 - 14:49

    One of the arguments that the Hospital uses is that the fees are nedded to discourage university students from parking on the premises. The law that ought to be used to prevent this "trespass parking" is the Petty Trespass Act. Ironically the Act mentions educational occupancies and Memorial University in particular, but not hospitals??? Maybe the act ought to be amended to specifically prohibit parking by students or anyone else that does not have business at a hospital and determine who has title on the parking lot, Memorial or Eastern health. The fines ought to be for trespass parkers NOT patients?

  • outside the overpass
    February 16, 2013 - 18:22

    good one anne, now if only everyone in the province lived is st. john's. people from outside the city go to hospitals because they have to. so what are you suggesting anne, they park their cars and call a taxi or get on a bus? townies?? you people got the answers to all concerns.. does it ever occur to some of you people that $5 is a lot of money to someone who doesn't have very much wether they go to a hospital to visit or because they have an appointment.

  • Anne
    February 16, 2013 - 09:39

    Totally disagree. Transportation has never been covered by the Canadian Health Act, and parking is part of the cost of driving a car. It's an individual choice to drive to hospital instead of getting there by taxi or bus. Those who chose to drive and use the parking facilities at hospitals should be the ones who pay the costs. Poor people who need the help can get financial assistance from social services, and can also apply to Metrobus for free bus tickets to medical appointments.

  • KM
    February 15, 2013 - 18:21

    Technically you're not paying to see the doctor. You could be parking to visit a patient. Parking should be free but after, for example, three hours a fee should be applied. If a longer queue has been formed for outpatients due to limited staff, then an exception should occur. Some deeper thought should be put in place for these issues.

  • Ferne
    February 15, 2013 - 16:42

    Those who work at the Health Sciences Centre must pay to park there so why not those who visit? The parking lots creation and maintenance have to be paid for somehow.

  • Terry
    February 15, 2013 - 11:57

    Totally agree. Patients and others visiting/attending them, should not have to pay for parkinng. I spent money going in daily to help care f or a dying relative. Also staff should be available 24/7 to immediarely attend to traffic and parking problems.