Driving examiners threaten walkout
The province is taking over the previously privatized driver examination system
Some of Alberta’s driving examiners are threatening to walk off the job on Thursday if the provincial government doesn’t address their demands to be compensated for the loss of their businesses in the months before repatriation, as well as higher salaries.
The Alberta government announced in October that it would be taking over the province’s driver examination system, privatized under former premier Ralph Klein in 1993, following a 2016 review by Tantus Solutions Group made public last July that painted it as a system rife with opportunities for exploitation.
The review noted stories about sexual assault, bribery, and the issuing of fake documents.
“Changes to the driver model will improve safety on Alberta roads while providing improved services for people at a reduced cost,” said Minister of Transportation Brian Mason in a statement on Wednesday. “The upcoming
changes have received widespread public support.”
But the Certified Driver Examiners Association (CDEA), which represents most of Alberta’s driver examiners, described the possibility of a provincial takeover of the system as “an unexpected, unprecedented impact on driver examiners and the industry in whole,” in a statement last August. Alberta is the only province in Canada with a fully privatized driver examination
Pete Llewellyn, the CDEA’s executive director, said as much as 80 per cent of his membership will refuse to work on Thursday unless the government addresses their concerns. These include the fact members aren’t receiving any sort of compensation for the loss of their business, despite the fact incorporated driver examiners pay both provincial and federal corporate taxes.
“I find it hard to believe that we shouldn’t be compensated for the time and work and effort we put into our businesses, because they’re being shut down effectively as of March,” Llewellyn said in an interview on Wednesday.
The CDEA has sent a letter threatening to sue the provincial government over the lack of compensation, Llewellyn said.
Find more on the walkout at thestar.com/calgary
Alberta Government House Leader Brian Mason announced in October that the provincial government would take over the driving examiner system.