Manitoba Crown corporation nixes plan to to give some licences without road tests

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba Crown corporation has backed down from a plan that would have let some people get their driver’s licences without road tests.

Manitoba Public Insurance now says it has enough private driving instructors to fill the gap left by its striking unionized workers, who walked off the job Monday.

The announcement came three hours after the corporation’s board chair, Ward Keith, said the plan would proceed and could be done without compromising road safety.

The plan would have let graduates of the provincial driver’s education program — including high school students — get a licence without doing a road test.

The idea was criticized by some driving instructors, who said graduates of the program need a lot of road practice before getting their licence.

Political science professor Karine Levasseur, at the University of Manitoba, said the idea appeared to violate provincial regulations, but the corporation said it has the legal authority to waive road tests and may do so in the future if need be.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2023.

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press