Opinion: Terrible humans are abusing free New West hospital parking

Chris Campbell

We’ve seen some pretty inspiring stories about people in New Westminster pulling together to help others during the COVID-19 crisis.

Read this story about how businesses, churches and non-profits are all working together to prevent people in New West from going hungry during the pandemic and you’re heart will be a little fuller.

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And then there are these terrible human beings.

Dr. Kelly Kasteel, who works in the ER at New West’s Royal Columbian Hospital, posted a scathing video about people abusing the fact that the province temporarily stopped pay parking rules at B.C. hospitals.

RCH is close to the Expo Line’s Sapperton SkyTrain station and Kasteel says people are using this “loophole” to park there instead of health-care workers, and patients and their families.

“Free parking at hospitals is for staff and patients only!!!!” she wrote in a Facebook post that includes the video (see below). “For the people using it for free park and ride on skytrain I couldn’t park in my own (paid) spot today because the hospital lot was full of non-frontline or patient cars!!!! Just because there is a loophole doesn’t mean you should use it!!!!”

When I first heard about the province suspending paid parking at hospitals, I thought it was a great decision, but worried about some scummy people deciding to take advantage of it.

I didn’t want to believe people would actually do this, but here we are.

"I just arrived at work and could not even find a parking spot because of the loophole that many people are using to park for free in the hospital grounds," Kasteel says in the video. "Folks, please. This was meant for hospital patients who require access to the hospital. And this was also meant for nurses and physicians to have access without having to be bothered to touch a touch pad."

Let those words sink in. I hope the people who are doing this get the message and find their humanity.

Meanwhile, I’ll be thinking about all of the incredible people in New West who are helping others.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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