New photo ID card for non-drivers, feature aids the blind

“They could have done this three years ago, and instead they’re trying to use it as a bit of an election goodie,” said NDP critic Gilles Bisson. “And I think that’s playing politics with an issue that I think we shouldn’t be playing politics with.”

Susan Eng of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons said the card will not only be helpful to those who are disabled, but seniors too.

She said she recently spoke to an elderly woman who wanted to open a bank account, but had to bring her husband because she didn’t have government-issued ID.

It’s a “matter of dignity” and independence, Eng said. And it may also help reduce identity theft and discrimination.

“The idea that we can have a dependable government-issued photo card for everybody — especially the ones who are most vulnerable — is more important that you would think,” she added.

Reuben Cipin, an 83-year-old man who is visually impaired, said he lobbied hard for the card, which he says seemed to take a backseat to the high-tech driver’s licences.

“I was afraid that the (photo ID) card was just going to be sitting on the backburner,” he said.

The province spent about $6.5 million to produce the enhanced driver’s licences, he said.

“And a very small percentage of people opted for it because they had privacy concerns,” Cipin said.

Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian had voiced concerns about the security of citizenship information that’s stored on chips that are embedded in the cards because the information is transmitted wirelessly.

© The Canadian Press

Keywords: dignity, disability, identification