City of Vancouver piloting free parking for Veterans

Last November, Vancouver City Council approved a by-law change that offered veterans free parking for one year as a pilot project.

Previously, veterans’ plate holders were allowed to park for free in the week leading up to Remembrance Day.

However, beginning November 3, 2020, drivers with veterans’ licence plates can park for free at metered parking and EasyPark lots within Vancouver.

Therefore, it was resolved that Council direct staff to explore the possibility of a process to allow eligible holders of a BC veterans’ license plate and current serving members of the Canadian Forces to park their vehicle for free, subject to the time limits already in place:

Danielle Finney, lead communicator, City of Vancouver, says vehicles bearing veterans’ plates must respect the posted time limits at meters, as well as any other regulations that restrict when vehicles may park (e.g., no stopping during peak periods), but can park for free during the allowed time.

Submitted by Councillor De Genova, the City of Vancouver issued an Information Bulletin on November 1, 2019, stating that all vehicles with BC veteran license plates would be exempt from parking fees from November 4th to 11th to mark Veterans’ Week.

Urban city street at night leading to ships in harbour and stunning mountains in distance. Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The reasons included:

1. To recognize the service and dedication of Canadian military personnel to Canada.

2. For many years, the City of Vancouver has offered free parking on Remembrance Day and during Veterans’ Week for vehicles with valid BC Veteran License Plates parked at City of Vancouver parking meters, Easy Park lots, surface lots, and Park Board operated parking facilities, including Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, and all Vancouver community centres.

3. The City of Surrey carried policy recommendations in a report dated November 3, 2008, to adopt as a policy that vehicles bearing a “veteran” license plate be granted complimentary parking on a year-round basis at all City of Surrey on-street parking meters”;

i) The report and recommendations in the report titled Complimentary Parking for Veterans at On-Street Parking Meters in Surrey, states that in an analysis of previous data, allowing Veterans to park for free at on-street parking metres, when comparing to subsequent years, “there was no significant impact on parking meter revenues.”

Kanzan cherry blossom lined streets and the North shore mountains in the background. Vancouver, BC.

4. There are many examples of other municipalities across Canada and their commitment to providing free parking for veterans, including:

        • the City of Red Deer, AB,
        • Regina, SK,
        • White Rock, BC.; and
        • London ON.

5. The ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) website states, “In recognition of our Canadian veterans, we’ve created a special plate to honour your service.” It lists the following requirements for eligibility for veterans’ plates in B.C. as follows: You are eligible to apply for veteran license plates if you own or lease an eligible vehicle and were honourably discharged from, or are currently serving in one of the following:

i) WWII, Korea, Gulf War, the Balkan Wars, Afghanistan, or other UN Peacekeeping Missions as a member of: The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), or an Allied Force, or the Canadian or Allied War Time Merchant Navy.

ii) A member of the CAF, Regular or Reserves, who successfully completed basic training.

iii) UN or NATO Operations as a member of: the CAF or a UN or NATO Alliance Force serving in an Operation with the CAF.

iv) Similarly, qualified members of a British Commonwealth of Nations Armed Force who are honourably discharged. Unfortunately, currently serving members are not eligible.

Vancouver, BC Skyline Canada downtown west end of the city.

Therefore, it was resolved that Council direct staff to explore the possibility of a process to allow eligible holders of a BC veterans’ license plate and current serving members of the Canadian Forces to park their vehicle for free, subject to the time limits already in place:

      • City of Vancouver parking meters
      • Easy Park lots, surface lots,
      • Park Board operated parking facilities:
          • including Stanley Park
          • Queen Elizabeth Park
          • Vancouver Aquatic Centre
          • All Vancouver Community Centres.

Also, Council directed staff to report back to Council by October 2020 with recommendations and plans to deliver a process by November 11, 2020, for year-round free parking for Veterans and current serving members of the Canadian Forces, at all parking locations currently offered by the City of Vancouver during the week of Remembrance Day.

 

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