No licence, no job, no ability to pay debts

I am writing this to expressing my frustration regarding the procedures used by the Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program to force debtors to pay up. I will explain my case.

I am writing this to expressing my frustration regarding the procedures used by the Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program to force debtors to pay up. I will explain my case.

I am a 32 year old Mexican biologist, just got married to a Canadian citizen last year; currently we are trying to get my Canadian residency so I can start working and make an income.

My husband is a laborer who had two children on a previous relationship. He is struggling to catch up with the debt of Maintenance Enforcement, which seems unbearable at the moment. The total debt is excruciating — even more now because he got laid off from his last job due to the winter season.

He is trying so hard, but there are no jobs. He has applied everywhere, dropping résumés all over as far as walking distance and weather conditions allow it. But still, not a single telephone call.

We were happy because he made a payment on December 2009 to MEP and ask for his driver’s license back. They granted that privilege, however, his job got slow so we couldn’t afford to pay up his new drivers license and just two weeks later we received a letter from MEP stating that he lost the opportunity to get his driver’s license back again. Not even two weeks passed between the call granting the driving privileges, the payment to MEP for December 2009 and the letter removing his rights again!

This is far from what can be called justice.

I personally don’t understand how a laborer is supposed to pay up a debt if the very same government cannot provide employment and removes the right to get a Class 1 driver’s license — which is a requirement on maybe 50-60 per cent of the job offers. It just makes no sense.

Especially if the debtor or his spouse (in this case myself) don’t even own a vehicle. So no punishment there; MEP is just making it impossible for my husband to get a job, ergo make a monthly payment.

I am asking for a fair judgment: do not take away debtors’ drivers license privileges; this is a form to make an income, especially for laborers.

Nobody is getting any benefit here. Please reconsider your punishment procedures because this is just a contradiction; to force someone to pay up by removing their opportunities to get a job is outrageous and lacks common sense.

Sofia Quast,

Red Deer