VICTORIA – The Chamber is calling for quick action to prevent an unfortunate decision by the Union of BC Municipalities from turning into a quagmire for commercial vehicle operators.

For more than three decades, the UBCM has offered parking permits through its commercial vehicle licensing program at a cost between $25 and $40 per year. Drivers receive a sticker allowing them to use commercial parking zones. However, administering the program was too costly so the UBCM stepped away.

Al Hasham, owner of Maximum Courier

That’s left local governments to pick up the slack, but the concern is that, in regions such as Greater Victoria, operators could be forced to take out permits in every municipality they serve. It’s potentially even more complicated for Island businesses also operating on the Lower Mainland.

Al Hasham, owner of Maximum Courier, told CHEK news the implications could end up adding $40,000 in expenses per year — not to mention a windshield cluttered with permit stickers!

The City of Victoria has already adopted a staff recommendation to increase commercial parking permits from $100 to $300 per year, based on the size of the vehicle. Saanich is reviewing the situations and exploring a regional approach.

One permit for all of Greater Victoria would be better than different rules in different municipalities, though the best outcome is a return to a province-wide permit plan. Businesses operate fluidly and it’s inefficient to constrain their operations based on arbitrary borders.