Gary Hee said his petition against hospital parking fees will likely be his last. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Campaign against hospital parking fees is gathering momentum: organizer

Gary Hee said the bid to eliminate ER parking fees will be his last petition campaign

So far, Gary Hee says, virtually everyone he has approached has been willing to sign his petition against parking fees for emergency room patients at B.C. hospitals.

As of Wednesday, the number of signatures had topped 1,100, giving Hee optimism that he will meet his goal of 2,500 by the time he turns 75 in July.

It will likely be the last campaign for Hee, a veteran of several previous petition efforts, including working on the FightHST petition campaign in 2009, launching his own petition campaigns, for a crosswalk at the corner of 72nd Avenue and 196th Street on the Surrey-Langley border in 2014, and against tolls in 2017

“I don’t think I have any more energy to carry on after that (turning 75),” Hee said.

READ MORE: Traffic lights approved for 72 Avenue

READ MORE: Traffic safety advocate spearheading ‘no bridge toll for B.C.’ campaign

On April 12, he began circulating a petition among Langley residents that calls on the Langley Memorial Hospital Board and the mayors and councils of the city and township of Langley “to implement ways and means to collaborate to remove parking fees placed upon us or our vehicles while attending the hospital emergency department premises for medical reasons during and up to a four hour period.”

The petition will also be sent to the provincial government.

Hee has hit a few roadblocks on the road to 1,100 names.

He said he was ordered off the premises when he tried to get signatures at Langley Memorial Hospital, and some seniors homes did the same.

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma said the health authority has a policy against such activity because it needs to ensure patients, visitors and employees can easily access the hospital for care.

“People who wish to sell products, distribute materials or in this case, have a petition signed are asked to be offsite,” Juma said.

“This usually means on the sidewalk across the street, so it doesn’t interfere with patient access,” she added.

Hee has beenstanding on sidewalks and setting up in other parking lots using his truck as a mobile billboard, as well as using his website http://garybhee.ca .

“There have been a number of people who really want to see something like this occur,” Hee said.

“They are pretty strongly in favour.”

He described talking to individuals who told him they were spending hundreds of dollars on parking a year because they have had to make multiple trips to the hospital, not just the ER.

“People are really facing a financial crisis,” Hee said.

“People [whose] children have disabilities and they always have to go to hospital, adults who have to have dialysis, people who have parents or relatives in care, ” Hee said.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

_

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

VIDEO: North Otter teachers throw ‘emotional’ parade for cooped-up students

North Otter Elementary is the latest Langley school to tell its students: ‘We miss you’

Stop dropping off donations outside closed stores and bins, Salvation Army says

Organization remains closed due to coronavirus pandemic

RCMP turn to bikes to patrol business districts

Empty stores could be a target for thieves

Cancellations of plant orders prompt advent of pop-up garden shops

A Langley nursery is partnering with local eateries to sell 40 acres of veggie plants and flowers

VIDEO: Easter festivities may be scaled back, but it can still be a fun holiday

COVID-19 circumstances have dictated that the holidays may not be perfect

B.C. jails grant early release for close to 100 inmates due to COVID-19

The move, which impacts offenders serving intermittent sentences, is to prevent spread of virus

COVID-19 world update: U.S. to start antibody tests; drones enforce lockdown in Italy

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world

Lower Mainland hunting store sees 200% increase in firearm sales

Co-owner of Wanstalls says increase due to a variety of reasons

People needing addiction services feeling ‘abandoned’ during pandemic

The province is trying to increase access to addiction care through a phone line of experts, doctors

COVID-19: B.C. ER nurse self-isolates in travel trailer, apart from family

Marcia Kent says situation is difficult but worth it to keep twin boys safe

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

Most Read