This past week, the Canadian Parking Association has been actively monitoring the developments of the Government of Canada’s advice, recommendations and mandated restrictions the country is facing as the COVID-19 virus epidemic spreads. We urge the parking community in Canada to adhere to the health and safety recommendations that are in place and being updated daily.
The CPA is taking measures to provide as much support to our members as possible in these unprecedented times. For the time being, CPA staff are working remotely, adhering to the social distancing requirements, but are available by email and telephone to address your issues. We urge members to reach out to the CPA staff members and other members of the parking community to share information, good practices and questions about how they are managing during this time. https://canadianparking.ca/interchange/ is the link to use to post your questions and comments for all to view and respond. In the coming weeks, we will be offering video chat sessions to augment traffic on the Interchange site.
Conference planning is ongoing, as it is early still to make a major decision to cancel our October dates. To that end, staff will continue to organize the various aspects of the event with the understanding that there may be a requirement to cancel or reconfigure the event based on how the pandemic and recovery progresses. Communications will be sent as information changes, and you are encouraged to visit the CPA website often to watch for updates. Exhibitors and attendees can rest assured that should the event be cancelled due to this crisis, any fees paid will be fully refunded. Our hotel partner, Bonaventure Hotel Montreal, and other contractors have been very cooperative in working with us to minimize the impact that may transpire as we evaluate our position going forward.
Although business as usual has been severely disrupted, where members of the parking community can be of assistance to their communities, we encourage you to offer your facilities and resources as much as is feasible. To that end, the CPA has applied to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to offer potential options for in-vehicle testing sites, specialized parking services for essential services, organized parking at hospitals and access to food and grocery supplies, should the need arise. As we await response, you are urged to contact the CPA if you would like to participate in such a program. It may be necessary to have test sights expanded across the country, so all offers will be considered.
Enforcement plans may need to be revised in order to keep access to essential services and prevent obstruction of emergency routes in our communities. These are a few items that the parking industry can consider in assisting with the national emergency response.
In response to the Canadian Government’s offer for financial relief, the CPA has written to the Honourable Bill Morneau on behalf of members, requesting consideration for the Canadian Parking industry as a major contributor to the Canadian economy. This industry supports local communities in the management of on- and off-street parking, urban planning, and contributes significantly to the transportation and logistics infrastructure, many of which are designated as essential services.
Because the parking industry is a hybrid between building management (deemed an essential service) and hospitality, Minister Morneau was advised that this industry is facing unprecedented and devastating losses while maintaining services with skeleton crews. Our workforce too, is being significantly impacted. Moreover, with reductions in parking demand, the nation’s parking industry is suffering in scope not unlike the hospitality sector, hotels and airlines.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor the Government announcements and do what we can to assist the Canadian industry to manoeuvre through this pandemic, with the focus on returning our business to its normal state, and in some cases, with new and improved initiates that emerge from this situation.
In the meantime, we remind members of the Canadian parking industry to exercise good practices, stay healthy and respect requests of the Government.
Board of Directors
Canadian Parking Association
Ottawa, March 30, 2020