Saskatchewan halts new Enhanced Driver's Licence Program
March 23, 2009
Concerns over cost, public interest and changing card requirements have resulted in the Saskatchewan government announcing it is not going ahead with an enhanced driver's licence (EDL) program.
"The EDL program was a very complex and major undertaking, and with June 1 approaching, there are still a number of factors outstanding that have led us to this decision," Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said. "First and foremost is we simply don't know what the actual public demand for these voluntary cards will be. Estimates vary across provinces, and this variable greatly impacts the cost of the program to Saskatchewan. Our approach is similar to the one taken in Alberta."
Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, Canadians wishing to travel to the U.S. as of June 2009 will require a passport or other secure identification. Last July, the Saskatchewan government announced the EDL program as an alternative identification option to passports for border crossing for Saskatchewan residents.
"This program involved the co-operation of several diverse organizations including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada," Cheveldayoff said. "Our government has been concerned for some time with factors including changing card requirements, unknown public demand for the card, privacy and security issues, start-up costs and costs going forward for many years for Saskatchewan, and the staffing requirements to deliver this program indefinitely."
If you and your family plan on crossing the border by any means after June 2009, Saskatchewan residents will be required to have a passport. A passport is the most secure option you have to ensure you can both cross the U.S. border and return to Canada either by air, land or sea."
Information on how to get a passport can be found at www.passportcanada.gc.ca.
Information about the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is available on the Canada Border Services Agency's website at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.