Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/10/2012 (3298 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Thousands of military veterans living in and around Winnipeg could soon be eligible for up to 20 hours of free parking on city streets every year.
On Wednesday, city council's executive policy committee will consider a plan to distribute free-parking coupons to holders of veteran's licence plates and also offer veterans free parking on Remembrance Day and the anniversaries of D-Day and the battle of Vimy Ridge.
The plan calls for books of 10 two-hour parking coupons to be distributed to the 1,500 people who hold veteran's licence plates in and around Winnipeg. Potentially, an additional 4,500 Winnipeg-area veterans could be eligible for the coupon books, according to a report by the Winnipeg Parking Authority.
Anyone who served in the Canadian Forces, Allied forces, Ferry Command or the Merchant Navy during the Second World War or Korean War are eligible for veteran's plates and coupons. So are retired or serving members of the Canadian Forces who've completed at least three years of paid service and members of the Canadian Forces, Allied forces, the RCMP and other police services who've served with NATO or United Nations operations.
The coupons will make it easier for veterans to attend medical appointments, said John Gillis, a Korean War veteran who serves as the second vice-president of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada's provincial command.
"Twenty hours a week might not seem like a lot of parking, but it is a lot for veterans," he said Friday after the program was announced at the Brooklands and Weston Royal Canadian Legion branch.
The plan also calls for free street parking for veteran licence-plate holders on Nov. 11 (Remembrance Day), April 9 (Vimy Ridge anniversary) and June 6 (D-Day). Veterans will also have free parking at the Millennium Library parkade on Nov. 11. The province already offers veterans free parking at the Winnipeg Convention Centre parkade on Nov. 11, Gillis said.
The city's new program was the brainchild of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, who asked the Winnipeg Parking Authority in April to come up with a way to offer veterans free parking. The mayor, in turn, said he got the idea from a talk-radio caller.
If all 1,500 veteran licence-plate holders in and around Winnipeg use all 20 hours allotted to them annually, the program will cost the Winnipeg Parking Authority approximately $39,000 a year, the agency estimates in its report. If all 6,000 eligible Winnipeg-area veterans sign up for plates, obtain the coupons and use every one of them, the program would cost $160,000.
Pending EPC approval on Wednesday and council approval on Oct. 24, the plan will take effect Nov. 1. It would be reviewed after one year and possibly expanded, Katz said.