Letters: Richmond Hospital pay parking is simply extortion

Open letter to mayor and council,

Why are companies like Impark issued business licences in Richmond?

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Yesterday, I bought 90 minutes of parking at Richmond Hospital, never suspecting that our father’s pre-admission clinic would take four hours.

We found a blue Impark “ticket” on the windshield, claiming that I had not paid. I had paid, for 90 minutes. At no time did hospital staff warn us that we’d spend four hours at the clinic. I assumed that 90 minutes was more than enough time, completely forgetting about the car and Impark and never suspecting that the shysters who run Impark would ‘fine’ me $80 for parking in a parking lot when I never refused to pay for the time I parked.

It is Impark who refused me an opportunity to pay for parking by issuing its “fine” without offering an opportunity upon exit to pay up for time actually used.

How can anybody be fined if an opportunity to reconcile the amount owed was never given? I can’t pay somebody who refuses to be paid the amount owed, so how can I be fined for said lack of opportunity to reconcile?

 Last week, I visited our father at Vancouver General, paying for time used upon exit from the parking lot.

I don’t object to paying for parking. Never have, but I do object to a parking company presenting a “fine” when it offers no opportunity to pay for the actual time parked.

Surely this sort of practice is illegal. How can Richmond Hospital, Vancouver Coastal Health and the City of Richmond countenance this sort of extortion?

Surely, Richmond has the right to refuse companies who engage in this sort of extortion the right to obtain business licences.

A city which issues licences to these sorts of businesses is abetting and condoning extortion.

Greg J. Edwards


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