CORNWALL, Ontario – In a press release on Thursday, Feb. 23 Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell called on the government to reduce the cost that residents have to bear for driver functional assessments.
A part of the burden and cost of these tests is that the nearest place that seniors can take them are in Ottawa.
“Seniors, Ontarians recovering from a stroke and many other drivers are forced to submit to a Functional Assessment in order to preserve their right to drive” MPP McDonell said in the statement to the media. “A Functional Assessment for a resident of Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry today involves driving over 1.5 hours away to Ottawa or Smiths Falls, taking a road test with an accompanying Occupational Therapist and paying in excess of $800 for the privilege. For those recovering from an illness, and seniors and Ontarians on fixed incomes this is an unaffordable sum.”
McDonell claims that the reason there are no such assessment centres in Cornwall and the surrounding area is because the Ontario government believes that there would be no local bidders for a contract.
“The Ministry should focus on service” McDonell said. “If local suppliers are unwilling to bid, it is the Ministry’s duty to work pro-actively with communities, hospitals, clinics and others to find a solution that would see these services delivered where the people need them. We have trained professionals locally in our hospitals and we should look at utilizing them for this important service.”
McDonell has started a petition on his website calling on the government to reduce the cost and burden of these functional assessments.