The special adviser to the Ottawa mayor's office might be able to offer some special advice on how to get free parking, the CBC has learned.

Andy Haydon's silver Volkswagen Cabrio is equipped with a low-tech device that allows him to avoid paying the $12 daily rate in the main parking lot at Ottawa City Hall.


Andy Haydon got into his car and drove away from Ottawa City Hall without having to pay for parking on Wednesday afternoon. ((CBC))

It is a card taped to the dashboard thatlets him use free parking set aside for members of the media without getting a parking ticket.

And it bears the logo for CBC Newsworld.

When confronted by a CBC reporter, Haydon at first denied knowing anything about the car.

Then, he said jokingly that, in fact, heworks for CBC Newsworld— undercover. He added thatthe Newsworld card "comes in handy."


A card bearing the CBC Newsworld logo is taped to the dashboard of the silver Volkswagen Cabrio in the City of Ottawa's media parking. ((CBC))

Later, he drove away in the car.

The mayor's spokesman, Mike Patton, said there is no need for Haydon to decorate his dashboard to get free parking.

"He doesn't need the Newsworld plaque," Patton said. "The parking belongs to the city. And at the end of the day, I don't think we have a problem with him parking there."

Haydon, regional chair of Ottawa-Carleton from 1978 to 1991, took up his new post after a failed bid for a council seat in the fall election.