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Cold Lake council pushes for free driver medical exams for seniors

City of Cold Lake council recently engaged in deliberations addressing a pressing concern affecting seniors across the province, the financial burden of mandatory driver’s license medical exams for individuals aged 75 and older. 


During the March 26 city of Cold Lake council meeting, an agenda item sparked discussions surrounding the costs associated with these medical exams for seniors. Andrew Serba, manager of Strategic Initiatives with the city, presented a draft resolution for council’s consideration, outlining the background and emphasizing the financial strain experienced by seniors. 


“Mandatory driver medical exams for Albertans aged 75 years and older were covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan until 2020,” stated Serba highlighting the significance of the issue for the senior population, their independence and access to medical services. 


Mayor Craig Copeland facilitated the discussion, seeking the council’s input on the proposed resolution. Coun. Bill Parker expressed support for reinstating full coverage, citing concerns over the financial impact on seniors and potential strains on municipal resources.  

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“I look at it from the point of, if we support the 25 percent there are still seniors working on a fixed income… I think we have to go back to free,” stated Coun. Parker. 


Serba provided additional context, pointing out inconsistencies in fees across different areas and the ambiguity surrounding the recently announced 25 percent discount program.  


The resolution presented to council calls for Alberta Municipalities to advocate to the province for reinstating coverage for medical exams for seniors aged 75 years and older, emphasizing their independence and well-being within their communities.  


Following discussions, the council unanimously passed a motion to send a request to Alberta Municipalities urging the reinstatement of coverage for these medical exams. 


Coinciding with these deliberations, on Match 28, the Alberta government announced a 25 percent discount on various registry services for seniors, including drivers’ licenses, vehicle registrations, and renewals. Minister Dale Nally, responsible for Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, highlighted the government’s commitment to addressing seniors’ affordability concerns and hinted at further discounts, including those for medical exam fees, as part of a broader strategy to enhance seniors’ quality of life and financial well-being.  


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