TORONTO – Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives are “fear mongering” and trying to scare seniors into donating to the opposition party by claiming the government will impose a new $85 fee for some driving tests, the Liberals charged Thursday.
The Tories sent out a release with the headline: “Why is Wynne targeting seniors,” which claims Premier “Kathleen Wynne is considering a new fee of $85 for many seniors who want to renew their drivers licence.”
Tory officials said they were basing the claim on a cabinet document in which various ministries suggested ways of increasing provincial revenues through fees and other charges without actually hiking taxes.
One proposal from the Ministry of Transportation was to add an $85 fee for drivers over age 65 who need to be retested after being convicted of a driving offence, and for people over age 80 seeking a commercial driver’s licence.
Transportation Minister Glen Murray said the cabinet document obtained by the Tories was only a draft, and the proposals were not adopted by the government.
“Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC party are fear mongering by targeting seniors with complete fabrications to solicit political donations,” Murray said in a statement.
“The Ministry of Transportation will not be introducing a new fee for senior drivers.”
PC party spokesman Alan Sakach defended the party’s release that warned of a new fee for seniors, but didn’t address the accusations of fear mongering.
“If they officially ruled out this proposal today, I’m happy there may be at least one fewer item from the Liberals squeezing money out of seniors,” Sakach said in an email.
The Conservative release, which was signed by “the Ontario PC Party,” concludes: “We are working hard to fight Liberal attempts to raise your taxes. Please help us by donating $25 today.”