The petition calling for free emergency parking at Royal Inland Hospital has grown to 1,500 names and the woman behind it vows she won’t stop until change happens.
Rose Bourdin, 84, has met with Interior Health officials about the parking problem. She wasn’t satisfied. She has met with Kamloops council and has the City’s support. She hasn’t stopped.
And although she hasn’t got a formal plan to collect signatures, she still goes out to the occasional community event to add onto it. And she always has the petition in her purse.
“We went to Overlander Days at McDonald Park and got over 200 signatures and there were people looking for us wanting to sign,” she said Friday.
“Right now, City council was going to get back to us. They sent out four letters (to various health officials). When they get answers from their letters, then they were going to get back to us.”
Bourdin is determined to get the paid parking out of the emergency area, so that people who are rushing there already under stress don’t have to worry about feeding a meter, too.
In mid-July, she took a 1,336-name petition to City council and asked for backing in her battle. She wants the old system back, where a triage nurse would give those entering the ER a ticket for their windshields to identify them as emergency patients.
Council unanimously supported a motion for letters to go to Interior Health, Health Minister Terry Lake, Kamloops South MLA Todd Stone and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. At the time, though, Mayor Peter Milobar said he had previously talked with IHA about changing the ER parking system with no results.
Bourdin also met later in July with Interior Health’s manager of corporate protection and parking services, but came away unsatisfied and no further ahead in her bid for free ER parking.
She has tried to contact Lake, who is Kamloops-North Thompson MLA, by calling him three times and faxing his Victoria office, but says she has only been advised he’s aware of the issue.
“We want to meet with him,” she said.
With her petition count now at 1,559, Bourdin is as determined as a hound with a bone to keep going.
“I’m not giving up. I’m not. And another reason I’m not is because Terry Lake is making me mad right now. He’s not even contacting us and he’s our MLA,” she said.
While she hasn’t got any more petition-gathering dates set up at the moment, if you can find her, you can sign.
“I’ll always have one in my purse.”