One photo ID card for all Manitobans

By: Jim Maloway, MLA for Elmwood

As published in The Herald

August 21, 2015

Jim Maloway with CTV’s Andrea Slobodian who was the emcee for the Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilian at this year’s Folkorama.

Too many of my constituents have trouble accessing vital services because they don’t have photo identification (ID). Not everyone has a driver’s licence.

Recently, the province announced it was looking at the idea of integrating the Manitoba health card with Manitoba drivers’ licences and identification cards issued by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). This means you could access Manitoba health-related services by presenting your photo ID or driver’s licence.

Our government is consulting with health-care providers for their thoughts on the one photo ID card. Our government is looking for your feedback on this idea. You can do that by visiting the MPI website, which will have online surveys that you can fill out. You should also keep an eye out for informational displays at shopping malls throughout the province.

This idea will reduce the number of cards Manitobans have to carry, and provide better protection against identity theft since drivers’ licences and ID cards are securely issued and tamper- proof.

However, the main reason this idea needs to be considered is that all current health card holders would have access to photo identification. To protect personal and confidential information, no personal health or drug records would be shared with MPI. Similarly, no driver’s licence information or driver history would be shared with Manitoba Health. The auto insurer would only be responsible for verifying the identity of anyone issued a card. The Office of the Manitoba Ombudsman will be consulted to ensure personal information will continue to be securely protected.

I believe the idea of eliminating duplicated services with no impact on MPI ratepayers is a good one. MPI already issues driver’s licences and identification cards to 70 per cent of Manitobans. This initiative will cover everyone properly.

I’m interested in your feedback on this proposal for one ID card. Feel free to call me at 204-415-1122 or email me at Jim.Maloway@YourManitoba.ca. For other news and announcements, you can also follow me on Twitter.