A funeral director in Thunder Bay is upset that people who attended a recent funeral are now facing parking fines.
The president of Everest Funeral Chapels, John-Bryan Gardiner, is calling on the city's parking authority to show more lenience. He noted the funeral home’s vehicles have been ticketed as well.
"If I legitimately have an expired [parking] meter or something, so be it," Gardiner said. "But not in a case like this, I'm sorry. I've never had parking tickets on a company vehicle at a funeral before and I'm not about to pay the ticket."
Gardiner’s complaints stem from a recent funeral service that had a large gathering of mourners where he said 30 people were ticketed. Gardiner wrote a public letter to the mayor and a city councillor telling them that he was filing a complaint against the city's parking authority.
He said the tickets were uncalled for, and don't show respect for grieving people.
In the past, the city's parking authority would cancel tickets for funeral-goers, he said. But recently, more tickets are being issued and fewer are being waived.
"There's no courtesy extended, or understanding that this isn't an everyday thing and it's not about courtesy to the funeral homes," Gardiner continued. "It's about courtesy to families and their friends"
The manager of the city's parking authority declined to comment on this story.
Silence from the city on the matter has been frustrating for Gardiner. He has not heard back from the city about his letter and complaint.
"It would almost be easier to deal with if … the parking authority [said]
‘you know, the rules have changed, this is the way it is from now on.’ And we could go to bat and argue that," he said.
"This is kind of a little pick-away over time … it's making it very difficult for us to serve families."