It could be argued that we now live in a post-ism world. While issues of racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination still permeate society, generally speaking there is broad awareness of these issues in the public domain. There is one ism however that still lurks on the periphery of public awareness and debate and that ism is ageism. This was abundantly clear during a Queen’s Park debate this week on a Private Member’s Bill to establish a voluntary driver’s license to those aged 65+.
During the debate politicians from all three parties spoke passionately about the isolation and depression experienced by many older people who unnecessarily lose their drivers license. All three parities were in agreement with CARP’s call for a restricted driver’s license. However, it was clear that the ageist aspect of the proposed senior’s driver’s license eluded many of the politicians involved in the debate. Luckily, CARP’s letter highlighting the bill’s discriminatory provision had the effect of introducing the issue of ageism into the public domain. After MPP Frank Klees rose in the house and read this statement click here to read CARP statement the debate turned from a discussion on the obvious merits of a restricted driver’s license to an impassioned debate about the issue of ageism. To read the debates click here