QUEEN’S PARK - It’s time for the Ford government to make birth certificates and Ontario’s basic photo identification card, free of cost, said NDP MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell (Thunder Bay – Atikokan) whose bill to eliminate ID fees is being debated at Queen’s Park Monday morning, and voted on after question period.
“During this pandemic when people and families are dealing with more costs than ever before and less income to pay for their bills, cutting the fees for such a fundamental right as a birth certificate and provincial ID is the easiest move this government can make,” said Monteith-Farrell. “This will allow people to access the public services they depend on and help make life more affordable for Ontarians during this crisis.”
Monteith-Farrell’s bill, Awenen Niin Act (Who Am I) Respecting Identity Documents, will remove user fees for all services related to Ontario birth certificates and Ontario Photo Cards (purple ID cards).
Monteith-Farrell said that while the cost for ID in Ontario is an unnecessary burden for all Ontarians, it is especially punitive on those who can least afford it, like Indigenous communities, women, youth in care, LGBTQ people, homeless and underhoused people, new parents, people dealing with the justice system, people with disabilities, and senior citizens.
“If you don’t have your basic ID in Ontario, it is much harder to access provincial programs and services. In Northern Ontario, where many communities struggle for access to public services, we especially need to remove all barriers that unfairly block people who most need those programs simply because they cannot afford the unfair fee,” said Monteith-Farrell.
“No one in Ontario should be denied public services because they don’t have the money to pay for their ID.”