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Council offers parking perks to volunteers

A new parking pass is expected to protect volunteer drivers from getting hit with parking tickets as they do their good works.

A new parking pass is expected to protect volunteer drivers from getting hit with parking tickets as they do their good works.

Councillors Christine Leadman, Maria McRae and Diane Holmes yesterday announced special parking permits that will allow volunteers to park briefly in no parking or loading zones while making pickups and deliveries.

For the next year, any registered charity can get a Volunteer Driver Identity Card, which allows on-street parking for up to 15 minutes, similar to permits currently issued to businesses. The program could become permanent after that.

“During the next 12 months, city staff will assess it, see how it’s going,” McRae said.

“Hopefully, there won’t be abuses and, hopefully, our volunteers that provide a service we could not run this city without are not going to be penalized in any way for doing the right thing, whether it’s picking up a senior or delivering a meal or anything else that these agencies do.”

The city introduced an informal version of the program during last year’s transit strike, McRae said. Volunteers have long complained of getting stung by the green hornets, and it got worse during the strike, with more cars competing for parking spaces.

 
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