Quebec Liberals promise $7-a-day parking at hospitals, long-term care facilities

Click to play video 'Premier Philippe Couillard promises to reduce hospital parking fees' Premier Philippe Couillard promises to reduce hospital parking fees
WATCH: Premier Philippe Couillard was in Montreal Saturday, where he pledged to reduce hospital parking fees and even make it free for some patients. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports on the Liberal leader's latest campaign promise.

Parking fees at hospitals and long-term care facilities will be dramatically reduced across the province if Premier Philippe Couillard is re-elected, he said Saturday.

Hospital parking would be free for patients receiving regular necessary care, as well for patients with chronic illnesses.

A free two-hour grace period would be granted to drivers, and a limit of $7 would be charged for the whole day, the Liberal Party leader said, speaking in front of the Laval Cité de la Santé hospital .

“It’s easy to promise,” Council of Patients Protection chair Paul Brunet said.

“We have been asking for that for years,” Brunet said. “They telling us that now because there are in a electoral campaign.”

READ MORE: Quebec ombudsman recommends review of MUHC parking fees

Couillard said it’s not a empty campaign promise, but that it was not possible before now.

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“We didn’t have the means to do this before, ” Couillard said.

Couillard restated the positive numbers from the latest auditor general’s report.

“We have generated not only balanced budgets, but budgets with room to add to services,” Couillard said.

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The $1 million investment, Couillard said, comes not from austerity measures during his term as premiere, but rather from stable money management.

“What we did is good sound management of finances, and we are giving it back to Quebecers as soon as we have room to do so in services, in time and money in their pockets.”

READ MORE: Hospital parking fees in Quebec to drop April 1

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The plan aims to enhance quality time between families and Quebec’s aging senior population, according to the Liberals.

The cheaper prices may entice drivers, but Couillard assured security measures would be put in place to hinder non-hospital users from parking in the facilities.

If he is re-elected, Couillard said, the hospital would be reimbursed the lost revenue.