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Alberta Health Services parking fees will increase April 1


Alberta Health Services (AHS) will be increasing their daily parking rates starting April 1.

The rate changes will vary by city, but on average, daily rates will go up by 75 cents for bigger cities and 50 cents for smaller ones.

In a press release, AHS says their rates have not changed in eight years and the new rates reflect inflation.

The extra money will fund building new parking facilities and maintaining existing ones.

"No healthcare dollars go towards parking services at AHS facilities. AHS parking is required to be financially self-sustaining, and AHS is responsible for all maintenance costs, as well as the costs for the construction of any new parkades," an AHS press release states.

'Uphill battle' for fundraising groups

The additional parking costs are especially impacting a Calgary group that tries to provide monthly parking passes for families with children battling cancer.

The Honouring Evelyn campaign collects online donations to try and cover the cost of hundreds of parking passes.

"With this new announcement of the increase in cost, I mean, it just feels like we're in an uphill battle and we have to raise even more now," said Heather Roy with Honouring Evelyn.

"It makes a fundraiser like this even more important," she said.

The Honouring Evelyn campaign raises money to provide monthly parking passes for families with children battling cancer. (Courtesy: Heather Roy)

It was September 2018 when Roy took her daughter Evelyn to the hospital for what they hoped would be a minor health emergency. It ended up being the terrible news no family wants to hear – and then Heather's phone went off.

"As the oncologist was in the room telling us that there was a large softball-sized mass in her abdomen, and they believed it to be cancer, my alarm went off on my phone telling me my parking was about to expire," Roy said.

"In that moment, I had to decide, do I risk getting a ticket?" she added.

Evelyn passed away four years ago next week and, ever since, the family has held annual fundraising campaigns to buy monthly parking passes for other families with children facing constant hospital visits.

This year's campaign launched this week and the plans for parking fee increases were announced the next day. Monthly passes will go up by $4 in Calgary and the Honouring Evelyn campaign already adjusted their goal.

"We just know that this is not an expense families should have to cover when they're going through what they're going through," Roy said.

This year, they hope to collect enough donations to buy 250 monthly parking passes for families.

AHS parking discounts

There are cost-saving options available, including monthly and weekly passes at a lower rate.

People can also apply for a compassionate parking pass.

Volunteer driver programs offering free transportation are available at some AHS facilities.

To coordinate a volunteer driver email: Top Stories

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