A 96-year-old Ottawa woman is wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape after she lost her provincial healthcare card and is unable to get a new one because she has no photo identification, but has other pieces of ID to confirm her identity.
Last month, Elizabeth Stead was at a local clinic receiving tests when she discovered that her Ontario healthcare card was missing. The government provided her with a temporary 90-day card, but now she is having extreme difficulty trying to get a replacement because of not having a photo ID card, such as a driver’s license, which she hasn’t had since the 1950s when she gave up driving.
Her son, Richard, told CBC News that his mother has quite a bit of documentation to prove her identity, including a marriage certificate, her expired passport and citizenship documents from when she entered Canada in 1927. However, these do not meet the requirements by the provincial government because she does not have any photo ID.
“And to get a photo ID, you have to have a photo ID. That’s the paradox,” explained Richard Stead, who is a former government bureaucrat that assisted in creating a government system for receiving public documentation, like health cards, licenses and permits.
“I think they need to apply a test of reasonableness. We have lots of proof of who my mother is, we have lots of documents. Any reasonable person would look at that and say, 'What’s the problem?'” said Stead. “I would’ve been ashamed if I ever designed a system that treated elderly people the way that my mother’s being treated.”
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has yet to issue a statement on the situation. Digital Journal sought comment from the Health Minister, but there has been no response as of yet.
Instead, the spokesperson for Stead’s Member of Provincial Parliament Bob Chiarelli has noted that she has a right to a new card and explained that the matter will be handled as quickly as possible.
“It's very frustrating to be treated like this after I've been here for so many years and done a lot for the country while I've been here,” said her son in an interview with QMI Agency. “This is just inhuman what they're doing to my mother.”