Province should block DriveTest applicants from high COVID-19 areas: Sarnia mayor
SARNIA, ONT. -- The Mayor of Sarnia admits he cannot keep everyone from areas with high COVID-19 cases away from his city, but he’s pushing for one method to be shut down.
Mike Bradley wants the province to temporarily prohibit those from stage 2 restricted areas from being able to get a driver’s test in his city.
Long-lineups are a regular site at many ‘Drivetest’ centres in around Ontario’s largest cities.
But if you come to Sarnia, the line isn’t always there, and appointments are relatively, a bit easier to get.
People from out-of-town had discovered the reality, before COVID-19, but the problem continues to grow.
Bradley says he’s had a half-dozen or more complaints come into city hall.
Charlotte Scollon, an instructor and manager at Journey’s Driving Academy in Sarnia, says she has witnessed the concern over and over again.
“Just car loads of people coming from other areas. They are coming from Oakville, Burlington, Toronto, Brampton.”
But with the serious health risk associated with COVID-19 Mayor Bradley says he, along with Sarnia’s police and fire chief have had enough.
As a group, they have sent a letter to the premier asking for anyone, from a stage 2 pandemic area, to be prohibited from getting a road test here.
“I don’t think getting your license means you should leave a region to go to another region￼, which is not at the same level of COVID cases,” Bradley tells CTV News.
The ongoing issue is still a surprise for Scollon, who say the backlog at the Sarnia ‘Drivetest’ centre remains significant.
“There were no tests in the system a week ago. We did check this morning, there are tests open for end of February now.”
But that’s a long wait for someone who might need a license for school or a job.
That’s where Scollon says placing the ban would be a win-win for Sarnia-Lambton.
She says prohibiting stage 2 applicants would free up more space for local drivers, and, more importantly remove a health risk for her students and the employees of the test centres.
Mayor Bradley says it’s a simple move the province could make.
“The premier been saying that you should not leave that region, well, here is an example where you can stop that right now."