Niagara Falls MPP says sharing a road test centre with Hamilton won’t speed up backlog

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Published August 19, 2021 at 6:26 pm

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When Ontario announced they were opening temporary road test centres to help address a large testing backlog that built up due to pandemic lockdowns, there was only one slated for both Niagara Region and Hamilton combined.

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates said an entire region sharing a single extra road test centre with a city who has a population of 771,000 is hardly going to speed up the process.

“We need another emergency centre in Niagara serving our community. It can be done and there’s no reason to delay, this backlog needs to be cleared a whole lot quicker than in two years,” said the NDP member whose riding also covers Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Ministry of Transportation said recently that there is currently a backlog of approximately 700,000 road tests in Ontario with Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney adding the province is taking action to clear the backlog so that new drivers who need a test “can get one as soon as possible.”

“As Ontario continues to head in the right direction in the fight against COVID-19, we have an aggressive plan in place to hire additional temporary driver examiners, open additional centres to offer road testing, and extend weekday operating hours for passenger road testing, including weekends,” Mulroney said in a statement.

Gates said sharing a drive test centre with Hamilton was not the answer to the problem.

“Residents are being told the soonest they can book a test is two years from now. That’s unacceptable,” he said.

“We have kids who have waited 18 months to get their licenses, seniors who need their cars to drive and families throughout the region who need these tests for work.”

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