Filmmaker and author Michelle Kim alleges discrimination over Vancouver parking ticket during pregnancy

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      Michelle Kim believes that pregnant women and women with children should have dedicated spots in public parking facilities.

      The idea was borne out of her experience at a Downtown Vancouver lot managed by Imperial Parking Canada Corporation.

      The filmmaker and author was seven months pregnant in the fall of 2019 when she received a parking violation ticket from Impark.

      In a complaint filed before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, Kim alleged that the company discriminated against her when it did not consider her condition at the time.

      Impark did not respond to a Georgia Straight request for comment.

      According to Kim, she regularly parked at the 95 West Hastings Street facility of Impark while she was doing graduate studies at the downtown campus of SFU.

      On October 28 last year, she was ticketed for expired parking time.

      “This was the first time I underestimated my time to get back to the lot due to slowing down due to pregnancy,” Kim wrote in her complaint.

      She related running across the street only to see a man issuing her a ticket just after her paid parking expired.

      “I was completely out of breath and did not make it on time,” Kim wrote.

      She tried to explain her situation, first to a customer service representative and later with a supervisor, but to no avail.

      Kim alleged that Impark did not accommodate her “physical limitations” on account of her pregnancy.

      According to her, she was denied a service or facility that is ordinarily available to the rest of the public in violation of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

      Kim alleged that she was discriminated against because of her sex and physical disability.

      Among the remedies she sought was for Impark to install spots for pregnant women and women with children in all the company’s parking facilities.

      “This particular lot doesn’t even have a handicap spot,” Kim noted about the 95 West Hastings Street parking lot.

      Kim wrote in her complaint that women as well as children and those yet to be born will benefit from the remedy she suggested.

      “The spaces in Vancouver seem to be gendered and favour men,” Kim wrote.

      Kim’s works include the 2018 novel Running Through Sprinklers. She has acted, produced, and directed several films.

      Kim is part Korean in heritage, and uses her Asian mother’s name to identify herself. In her complaint, Kim used her legal name, which takes after her British father.