Driver’s Licenses Don’t Want to Be Free

In the middle of the April provincial general election campaign here on Prince Edward Island I was having a chat with a friend: he related the story of the incumbent Liberal MLA coming to his door to look for his vote and, when learning that he would not be receiving it, he asked why.

My friend suggested he start by looking at the Liberal plan to make driver’s licenses free, a plan funded by revenue from the carbon tax.

This policy amounted to a kind of reality Gerrymandering where, instead of rearranging district boundaries to suit their political needs, the Liberals instead attempted to rearrange the universe such that an incentive to drive could be construed a carbon mitigation action.

I’ve said many times since that Liberal government was defeated that this move was the root cause of their downfall: Islanders are not stupid, and while we won’t look askance at funding for a rink in the district, an outright attempt to convince us that up is down and down is up is seen through for what it is.

The truth of this was reinforced at an October meeting of the Special Committee on Climate Change where every reference to the driver’s license foolishness was greeted universally with a hearty ironic guffaw. I think I even detected some ironic sighs from the Liberal benches.

All of which leads me to be extra-especially happy with the announcement that the government will reinstate fees for driver’s licenses, and instead use the $5 million in funds to support active transportation projects.