Ontario NDP MPPs think Premier Doug Ford is in the wrong lane when it comes to northern motorists.
"After waiting over a year for their driving tests, Northerners will be forced to keep waiting after the Ford government left out northern Ontario from a plan to open temporary road test centres, said northern MPPs including John Vanthof of Timiskaming-Cochrane.
“Northerners need to drive. We rely on our cars and vehicles to get to and from work because many don’t have regional transit systems. To leave out Northerners from taking their driving tests means they can’t go to work, it means lost wages, lost appointments, and lost opportunities.
"Doug Ford has left Northerners stranded, again."
Ontario is opening temporary road test centres to help address a large testing backlog that built up due to pandemic lockdowns.
The province said the centres would open in areas where demand is highest, but none in the north, to help more new drivers get their G2 and G licences.
The province resumed in-car driving tests on June 14, but the backlog has seen the first available slots months in the future.
The Ministry of Transportation said Wednesday that there is currently a backlog of approximately 700,000 road tests in Ontario.
"This was an issue before the pandemic and it has only gotten worse," say the NDP group. "Ford has had over a year to address the problem and he has chosen to leave out northern Ontario again from even a temporary plan."
With files from Canadian Press