Improve Access to Photo Cards and Birth Certificates - Support Bill 26

Posted
April 11, 2018

From a Hamilton Community Legal Clinic blogpost: The Clinic believes that access to photo cards and birth certificates should be improved.

In Ontario, marginalized and vulnerable individuals often cannot afford to pay the fees for this identification.   

Without government ID, individuals cannot obtain social assistance, open bank accounts, secure housing or receive medical care.

A birth certificate is needed to apply for new pieces of ID both provincially and federally and that is often something individuals may lack as well.

Change could be on the way.

Recently a private members bill was introduced in the Ontario Legislature which addresses this problem.

Bill 26, amends the Photo Card Act, 2008. If passed, fee waivers will be provided for individuals who cannot afford to pay the fees required for photo cards.

The Bill also amends the Vital Statistics Act so that fees will be waived for individuals who cannot afford to pay the fees required for birth certificates.

This Bill recently passed First Reading. It has been referred to a Standing Committee.

We have written to the Bill's sponsor Sophie Kiwala, MPP (Kingston and the Islands) to indicate our support. Our letter is reproduced below. We encourage you to write to Ms Kiwala and help Make Change. Students at Queen's University and Pro Bono Students Canada worked with Ms. Kiwala to advance this reform. You can find out more about this issue at

http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/author/alexia-kapralos/pro-bono-students-canada-id-clinic-sparks-introduction-of-bill-15538/#tab_1

Read more: Improve Access to Photo Cards and Birth Certificates - Support Bill 26