Stelmach named to Covenant HealthHome > Senior Driving Issues > Stelmach named to Covenant Health
Former Premier Ed. Stelmach named new Covenant Health Chair, is quoted as “I have
always had a tremendous interest in making sure we take care of the most vulnerable”.
He is the same man who in 2002, under the watch of the Honourable Premier Klein, without
justification, changed the Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation
of the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, Alberta Regulation 320/2002, Section 16(2).
The change required that persons at age seventy-five and thereafter provide a proof
of medical examination prior to their license renewal.
The change, surreptitiously introduced the mass monitoring of senior drivers. No fan fare,
no press releases, not all MLA’s were informed, not even all government back benchers.
It was not noted in Hansard,
The protocol, introduced to Physician’s Offices by the Primary Care Network, was known
as the Simard MD & DriveABLE pilot project. This sophisticated, financial elder abuse was
promoted under the guise of RESEARCH, SCIENCE & SAFETY.
Safe, seasoned drivers such as truckers have been misclassified by this pilot project as
unsafe drivers. Some have taken months or even years of financial & emotional cost to
re-establish their right to drive.
Collateral damage has been high. It has been reported that in 2014, over 8,000 Albertans
lost their right to drive.
Physicians have benefited. A physician may bill Alberta Health Services, well in excess of
$200.00. for each senior tested. Up to $160.00 for medical assessment, $75,00 for Simard MD
& perhaps a bounty of $36.00, as in Ontario. We are often told that the Medical examination
consists of little more than a blood pressure & eye check.
We allege that at the time, physicians were clamoring for a raise. The Honourable Mr. Klein,
his executive committee & Ed Stelmach, Transportation Minister, creatively conceived the idea
of the mass monitoring of senior drivers.
The concept was made to effectively give a raise to physicians, a raise given on the backs
of seniors. Why else would you institute mass monitoring of drivers who pose no danger to
road safety (at great cost to taxpayers)?
According to Alberta Transportation statistics, seniors are the safest drivers on Alberta roads.
This is true across Canada. The fact that seniors are safe drivers, has now been reinforced
by the United States Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
They stated that they were wrong in thinking that an older population would lead to more accidents,
just the reverse has happened. Published on February 14, 2014 by Joan Lowy of Associated Press.
Older Albertans are filled with trepidation & fear, having to undergo license renewal. We
receive calls from across the province, from anxious Albertans, even before they make the
appointment with their doctor for license renewal.
In this matter, seniors were betrayed by their own government, by their own elected MLA’s.
For years the care of the most vulnerable has been sadly wanting. Given the known track
record of the past, what can we anticipate for the future?