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Simard, MD Driving Test

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July 2, 2010

VIA Facsimile 780 422 2722
Letter to Follow

The Honourable Mr. Luke Ouellette,
Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation
Room # 320 Legislature Building

Dear Sir:

SIMARD MD, DRIVING TEST

We have learned that the Simard MD test is being used by the Primary Care Network personnel to test Alberta Seniors to see if they are fit to drive. We also have knowledge that this test is in the pilot stage of a research project and has not been formally recognized by the Alberta Department of Transportation. Nevertheless, it is in use on Canadian citizens.

We find it troubling that this test, which uses a stop watch, is being used to assess seniors for driving fitness.

Apart from the bizarre nature of the test, we submit that this is a form of age discrimination. Do young persons applying for licenses have to submit themselves to this process?

We would be grateful to be in receipt of your response in regard to this matter by the 15th July, 2010.

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates of Alberta Society

cc. Honourable Ms. Mary Anne Jablonski, Minister of Seniors and Community Supports
Mr. Robert Bhatia, Deputy Minister of Seniors

Response

Simard 1
Simard 2

Letter

August 27, 2010

Via Facsimile 780 422 2722
Letter to follow.

The Honourable Mr. Luke Ouellette,
Minister of Infrastructure & Transportation
Room # 320, Legislature Building, Edmonton.

Dear Sir:

SIMARD MD, DRIVING TEST

Further to your correspondence of July 19th, 2010.

Your letter inaccurately states that the results of the Simard MD are being forwarded to Alberta Transportation’s Driver Fitness and Monitoring Section. That is misinformation.

The results are being forwarded to a private business.

In fact the results of the Simard MD together with personal, confidential health information are being published to DriveAble, who charge $200.00 plus GST, per test. In Calgary, the cost is $250.00. In some areas such as Montreal, the computer test costs $250.00 and an additional charge of $75.00 is made for the road test. It has been reported that in the year 2000, DriveAble grossed close to 4 million. That was then, what would it be now?

What is most troubling and even frightening, a low Simard MD score could be used to deem the senior incompetent thus allowing government (Public Trustee), family or others to strip the senior of all rights and seize the senior’s estate under the

Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act.

It is further troubling, that seniors who may never had a car accident or difficulty with the law, are being subjected to this bizarre examination; an examination conducted with a stop watch. Numbers of seniors who have not had the advantage of extensive schooling and who may have had only very basic schooling, find the process of rapidly repeating numbers, intimidating. Many have a poor command of English and do not always fully understand the questioning.

Then follows the threat. If the person has a low Simard MD score they MUST attend DriveAble, pay the fee or be stripped of their right to drive. What remarkable protocol.

Canadian citizens who are seniors are being subjected to assessments ad nauseam. Across the province of Alberta, hundreds of physicians, registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and others have received a form of training and a designation which allows them to assess the cognitive state of seniors
(and strip them of all rights) .

We submit that this Simard MD is just another variation of the assessment process which will be used by Government and others to target seniors.

We further submit that this process is not only discriminatory, decidedly abusive but also a protocol of entrapment parallel to the unjust Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act.

Finally our correspondence of July 19, 2010, was not “an inquiry”, it was an expression of deep concern.

Please allow us to be in receipt of your response by the 15th of September, 2010.

Thank you.

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates of Alberta Society

cc. Honourable Ms. M. Jablonski, Minister of Seniors & Community Supports

Honourable Ms. Alison Reford, Minister of Justice and Attorney General

Response

Simard3
Simard4

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