TORONTO — The Ontario Legislature unanimously passed local MPP Jim McDonell’s motion to guarantee a driver’s licence medical reinstatement within five business days of a physician’s approval.
“If it takes hours to take away a license on medical grounds, it shouldn’t take six weeks to give it back,” McDonell said after his motion, aimed at the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), received a green light at Queen’s Park Sept. 22.
“Ontarians want their services delivered efficiently and promptly. Today, MPPs from all parties came together to acknowledge that Ontarians deserve better from MTO, and I am glad the government did not block this initiative,” said the Progressive Conservative member for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
More than 300 residents of the riding signed McDonell’s petition to speed up the ministry’s processing of medical reviews. While the resulting resolution is not binding, “it is an important indicator of the Legislature’s direction on the subject,” according to the MPP, who expects MTO “to take note of this and implement the changes as soon as possible”
“Commuters, commercial drivers, caregivers, parents and others from all walks of life need their licenses in order to lead independent and productive lives in areas not served by large transit networks such as [those in] Ottawa or Toronto,” he said. “The ministry is capable of assessing a positive medical review in a matter of days — it is time the guaranteed service timeframe reflected this reality and the commitment we all share for delivering public services in the public’s interest and at the public’s convenience.”
Serving as his party’s critic on government and consumer services, McDonell has spearheaded a similar campaign to cut the backlog of rural elderly drivers repeatedly stalled on getting their mandatory biennial driver check-ins after the age of 80.