Cape Breton cancer patient fed up with parking tickets handed out during chemo

A Cape Breton cancer patient says he's had enough with the parking tickets he's received while getting chemotherapy.

Ron MacDonald has kidney and lung cancer. In the last four months, he's received four tickets for parking illegally outside the Cape Breton Cancer Centre, which is at the regional hospital in Sydney.

"There is no reason for it, it's overkill," said MacDonald.

He said he usually parks his vehicle in a no-parking zone close to the cancer centre because he is too weak to walk farther.

Tom Ayers/CBC

MacDonald said he understands tickets are issued for most parking violations, but he said it's unfair in this case.

"You're giving a $25 ticket to a cancer patient that's suffering financially," he said.

MacDonald said he's already struggling to pay for extra medication and supplies for his treatment, and finds it hard to believe he's also being penalized for parking while undergoing treatment.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority declined an interview with CBC News, but said in an email that extra parking is available for cancer patients within a staff "preferred parking" lot.

The authority said 22 parking spots are designated specifically for cancer patients. It said parking passes are available for cancer patients, allowing them to park in the designated spaces, or the other lots at the regional hospital.

It noted there is also a patient drop-off area at the entrance to the cancer centre.

The NSHA said parking is an ongoing challenge at the hospital.

It said a traffic impact and parking study will be carried out as part of the Cape Breton healthcare redevelopment project, which will include a new cancer centre.

Submitted by Nova Scotia Health Authority

It also said any vehicle not parked in a designated parking spot, parked in a fire lane or parked on the side of the roadway will be ticketed.

MacDonald said the other parking options are too far away for someone who has just had chemotherapy and may be feeling weak.

He said he has contacted both the health authority and the cancer centre about the tickets.

MacDonald said if the issue is not resolved, he will fight the tickets in court.