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‘Overwhelming response’ sees road tests still required: Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is slamming the brakes on waiving road test requirements for drivers-ed graduates.

The announcement comes on the heels of what MPI said was an “overwhelming response from the driver education community.”

For long-time instructor Avtar Sidhu, this U-turn away from the controversial policy, made in response to job action, may be a comfort.

“This is a very, very dangerous situation because driver students, most of them, are just beginners,” he said about MPI’s decision to waive road tests. “It is totally dangerous for us and the public.”

Sidhu also feared that some instructors agreed to supervise road tests because they were worried MPI could withhold their teaching permits.

However, despite pausing the policy now, the corporation said it has determined the Registrar of Motor Vehicles has the legal authority to waive testing requirements.

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“This option may be reconsidered in the future should MGEU strike action be prolonged, and in the event that using MPI-certified driver education instructors cannot adequately address current and future demand for driver testing services,” a release said.

Meanwhile, MPI board chair, Ward Keith, said about 4,000 knowledge and road tests have been cancelled since employees started picketing.

“Behind every one of those cancelled appointments is a customer waiting for service,” said Keith.

Now, the Crown corporation claims it is “satisfied” that there will be enough resources available to resume Class 5 testing for all drivers, including Driver Z graduates.

Click to play video: 'MPI resuming road tests amid strike'

MPI resuming road tests amid strike

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