Saskatchewan halts enhanced license initiative

REGINA — 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.

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, Canadians traveling 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."

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