Whistler wants ICBC to help collect your unpaid parking fines

The Resort Municipality of Whistler is urging the provincial government and ICBC to help municipalities collect unpaid parking tickets.

Municipality urges province to help collect millions of dollars in unpaid parking tickets across B.C.

A parking ticket, carefully placed underneath a windshield wiper, evokes feelings of anger, regret. (Radio-Canada)

There's nothing fun about renewing a driver's licence.

And if the long lineups and awkward photos aren't enough, if one B.C. town has its way, the drivers licensing office will also be the venue where drivers with a glove box of outstanding parking tickets finally pay the piper.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler is urging the provincial government and ICBC to help municipalities collect unpaid parking tickets.

"Municipalities lose a significant amount of non-tax revenue annually because of unpaid bylaw fines," writes Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in a letter directed to B.C  Attorney General David Eby.

"Partnering with the Province and ICBC to recover unpaid bylaw fines would help generate some additional non-tax revenue for both ICBC and Municipalities to ensure rate fairness."

The letter is part of a resolution Whistler is hoping will gain traction with municipalities across the province.

How it would work

According to the resolution, unpaid parking tickets would be paid at ICBC when drivers go to renew their licence or their auto insurance.

It says all municipalities in B.C. would benefit by receiving millions of dollars in non-tax revenue. 

The City of Vancouver, for example, is owed about $6 million in unpaid tickets, according to the document. Meanwhile, Kelowna is owed more than $1.8 million in outstanding tickets issued over the last five years.

The resolution, which has been sent to a number of municipalities across the province, says revenues could also be shared with ICBC to ensure the agreement is beneficial for both parties.

Drivers would be compelled to pay tickets when they renew their driver's licence at ICBC kiosks, according to the Whistler proposal. (David Horemans/CBC)

"This is a significant issue in British Columbia, and the Union of B.C. Municipalities has raised concerns in the past to the province regarding these unpaid fines," said Whistler policy planner Kevin Creery at a council meeting.

"Hopefully the timing is right with ICBC having some financial difficulties there," he added.

The resolution will also be presented at the 2018 Lower Mainland Local Government Association Annual General Meeting.

ICBC referred requests for comment to the provincial government.

Government responds

According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, transferring the responsibility of collecting tickets to ICBC could be "a significant administrative burden" to the Crown Corporation.

In an e-mailed statement, a spokesperson from the ministry said the issue had been previously raised by the UBCM, but "ICBC indicated no plans to collect municipal fines."

With files from Josh Pagé, Sarah Penton, and CBC's Radio West