Happily married men don’t usually place ads in the personals section looking for company.
But Liberal MLA Don Inverarity did.
Right below ads in a Whitehorse newspaper searching for UFO sightings and Sasquatch encounters, there’s another one looking for a different horror story.
Wanted: horror stories you have experienced using your Yukon Drivers Licence as ID. Confidentially (sic) guaranteed.
“There are real people having real problems using the Yukon licence as identification, even in airports,” said Inverarity.
“The identification is Mickey Mouse; it looks like circa 1970.”
People have responded to the ad, and along with anecdotes gathered from friends and neighbours, Inverarity has a long list of stories.
One young man moved to Alberta and after a couple months in the province went to change his Yukon licence.
“They wouldn’t recognize his Yukon licence and they put him back on a graduate permit with restrictions, like no driving after dark” said Inverarity.
“He lost his job.”
A couple visiting the US tried touring a US Naval base and presented the Yukon licence.
The naval officials didn’t buy it.
“They wouldn’t let him go for three hours,” said Inverarity.
One woman on a flight from the Yukon stopped in Hamilton on a tight connection.
She presented her Yukon ID to get on the plane.
“The guy wouldn’t accept it because (he thought) it was fake ID,” said Inverarity.
“It turned out she had an employee ID with a picture on it.”
That an employee ID carries more weight than the Yukon driver’s licence suggests improvements are needed.
A recent round of talks by Canadian premiers about the Agreement on Internal Trade produced a desire to see Ottawa support the use of an enhanced driver’s licence.
The secure licence, which could include a chip or magnetic strip that stores private data, is something the territory is studying, said NDP MLA Steve Cardiff.
“They’re waiting to see how it turns out in BC,” he said.
Crossing the Canada-US border is easier with the enhanced licence, say proponents.
“They’re useful for people travelling overland across the border,” said Cardiff.
“But the concern is about the protection of privacy.”
What information is included on the card and how and where that information is stored are unanswered questions, said Cardiff.
“Is the information protected by Canadian privacy laws or United States laws if it’s stored in America?” he said.
If the government does change the licence, equipment should be bought so cards can be produced locally rather than Outside, said Cardiff.
On neighbourhood walks or at the grocery store, people have stopped Inverarity and voiced concern about the licence.
But those people didn’t want to go on the record, so Inverarity turned elsewhere.
It’s a surprise to see the married man advertising in the personals section of the classifieds.
“I didn’t know where else to put it,” said Inverarity, laughing.
““How do you find this kind of information?
“It seems like a novel approach at a low cost. It’s been fairly fruitful.”
Five people have responded to the ads, including recent arrivals to the territory.
“Most people look at the Yukon driver’s licence and think it’s a forgery,” said Inverarity.
A woman and her son tried getting into a casino but were stopped when the bouncer wouldn’t accept the son’s ID.
“The mother said, ‘Here’s mine, it’s the same.’ And the bouncer said he wouldn’t let either of them in.”
Calls to Community Services Minister Archie Lang were not returned.