A cancer patient whose parking tickets have been thrown out of court is urging others to not pay for parking when they go for hospital treatments.
"Do not put money in the meters at hospitals in this province. Simply, do not," Tom Badcock said Wednesday, a day after the Crown dismissed tickets he had accumulated at the Health Sciences Centre lot in St. John's.
Badcock, who refuses to run out to feed a meter while he receives chemotherapy as an outpatient at the HSC, had wanted to fight the case in court, arguing that the Canada Health Act ensures that Canadians should not face financial barriers to their care.
'This is a form of civil disobedience.' —Tom Badcock
Badcock said other patients should refuse to pay for parking while they receive care.
"What will happen is that they don't want to hear these arguments in court, and they're going to dismiss your tickets," Badcock told the St. John's Morning Show.
"So, there'll be thousands and thousands and thousands of tickets issued, and the court can't handle them," he said. "So this is a form of civil disobedience."
Badcock incurred the tickets for expired meters after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in March. After plugging coins into meters during his three hospital visits each week, Badcock determined that parking meters are a barrier to receiving care.
The issue received national attention this week, when the editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal called for hospital parking fees to be abolished.
Badcock said those who have provided care to him have supported his position.
"I spoke to people over there repeatedly about this whole issue and I got the sympathy of everyone — except for the people responsible for deciding that I should pay for parking," he said.
Parking fines must be paid at least by the time a driver renews a licence or car registration, unless they are dismissed in court.