WATCH: The opposition says that the wait time for licence return is “ludicrous” but the minister of transportation says a 30 business day wait is “responsible.” Alan Carter reports.
TORONTO – Ontario’s opposition parties say the Ministry of Transportation’s 30 business day timeline to review licence suspensions is “ludicrous.”
Progressive Conservative MPP Michael Harris rose in the Ontario Legislature Monday to ask Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca whether there would be a review of the 30 business day wait.
“You tell us you will review cases and take action within 30 business days. The truth is, for many, it’s taking double that time or more,” Harris said.
“It’s great that substitute teacher David Wallace got his licence back after going to Global News last week, but what about the tens of thousands of others still waiting? Do they have to all go on Focus Ontario to get you to act?”
A person can have their licence suspended due to a number of medical conditions, including a stroke, which Wallace was erroneously thought to have.
WATCH: Progressive Conservative MPP Michael Harris rose in the Ontario Legislature Monday to ask Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca whether there would be a review of the 30-business day wait, citing a Global News story from last week about substitute teacher David Wallace.
The ministry of transportation gives itself a 30 business day timeline to review applications to have that suspension lifted. Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca maintained Monday that the timeline is acceptable because government officials have to make sure the review is done properly.
“We have to get it right,” he said. “That’s a responsibility that falls to the ministry of transportation to make sure that we know that a person is able to drive in a medically fit way on our roads and on our highways.”
He said the ministry achieves that target in the majority of cases.
But Harris called that notion “ludicrous” saying there was thousands of healthy people waiting longer than 30 business days to get their licence back. Harris has put forward an amendment on a new transportation that would force the ministry to respond to people as soon as they receive documentation.
NDP MPP Taras Natyshak said he too sees “a ton of complaints” about the length of time it takes for licence suspensions to be rightly overturned. He suggested the government was paying more attention to the “bottom line” rather than service levels.
“They [the Liberal government] are fine with the level of service that people are receiving,” he said. “We would say that people deserve better and it should be easier to go through that process in this day and age.”
– With files from Alan Carter