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Standing up for families: free two-hour parking at Alberta hospitals

EDMONTON, AB (April 21, 2015): Today, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said a Wildrose government would make it mandatory for all hospitals to offer two free hours of parking for visitors, easing the burden Albertans face when they visit loved ones in hospital.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) currently generates over $70 million in revenue from hospital visit parking fees, making 30 percent, or over $18 million in profits in 2013/14 alone. Jean said the Wildrose commitment to two hours of free parking at hospitals will put an end to AHS profiting off of Albertans in care and make it easier and more affordable or Albertans to be a part of their loved ones' care and recovery.

"Visiting a sick family member or loved one in the hospital comes with a heavy emotional cost. We shouldn't add financial costs to what is already a difficult time," Jean said "This reflects our commitment to make life more affordable for Albertans and help them keep more of their money in their pockets."

The Prentice PCs hiked hospital parking rates in 2013 and are pitching 59 other tax increases and fee hikes in Budget 2015. Current rates are as high as $10 for a routine hospital visit.

Jean also said a Wildrose government would establish lower parking rates for repeat hospital visitors for those with family members and loved ones in long-term hospital care.

"This is something simple and efficient government can do to make life more affordable and less stressful for Albertans," Jean said. "While the Prentice PCs hike taxes on every Albertan, Wildrose will stand up for families and fight to keep taxes and fees low."