In one alderman’s eyes, it’s a classic bait and switch.

Days after heralding a parking rate drop in the downtown, the Calgary Parking Authority will ask the city’s land use, planning and transportation committee to approve a 25 per cent hike in the standard parking fine, from $40 to $50.

Ward 12 Ald. Ric McIver was fuming over the potential fine increase, after he said the CPA got “all the love” for touting a rate reduction.

“I think this is what builds cynicism in Calgarians ... and it’s just the worst kind of public policy and the worst way to roll that public policy out,” he said.

With 132,000 tickets projected for 2009, that could add $1.32 million to CPA coffers, after it noted a $1.4-million decline in revenue as a result of the parking rate drop.

McIver suggested the CPA be stripped of its power to make recommendations, something that could happen as the CPA is also in line for an independent strategic review in the coming weeks.

With the potential increase, only Vancouver would have a higher parking fine than Calgary.

The CPA refused comment on the increase.