In reference to the interesting article in the Wednesday, Aug. 16 paper regarding the comparatively shorter life spans of Campbell River citizenry, of particular interest to me was the paragraph citing unemployment as one the contributing factors of this deficiency, and that is something we can lay, at least in part, at the steps of city hall.
I’m referring to the ludicrously discriminatory and inefficient chauffeur’s licensing process that leaves many people – capable and desirous of working as taxi drivers – sitting on EI or social assistance for months on end, when they could be out earning a living. This process, unique to Campbell River, does nothing to improve the mental and physical health of the citizenry.
Bee-Line Taxi has been forced to operate short-staffed for many years because a licence to work as a cab driver in Campbell River takes anywhere from a month to five months to obtain. Compare this ridiculous situation to Courtenay or Parksville where a driver with a suitable driver’s abstract and a class 4 licence can be put to work the on the day of application, if need be. Even in B.C.’s large urban centres where it’s necessary to take a short course to ensure sufficient knowledge of city geography, a chauffeur’s licence takes no longer than a week to obtain.
Why does it take so long, and cost so much here? That’s a question I’ve been asking of, for the past six years, the last two police chiefs and the last three city mayors, as well as the various overpaid bureaucrats they delegate to make light of and do absolutely nothing about, a very real problem.
The people involved in erecting and maintaining this wall between employers and employees, obviously care little about the waste of taxpayers’ money and the stress they are inflicting on both employers and the people who would be a lot happier working for them, instead of being forced to obtain their sustenance from various government agencies, because of the intransigence of city officials who refuse to see a problem that is taking years off people’s lives.