CASE LAW - Lewis v British Columbia (Public Safety and Solicitor General)

BC Courts Coat of ArmsDelores Lewis was required to take the computer based version of the DriveABLE test and failed. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles directed ICBC to cancel her driver's licence. Reconsideration of this decision was possible if she was able to provide a report from her doctor indicating that she was medically fit to drive. This was provided and Ms. Lewis took the test a second time. The result of the second test indicated that her abilities had declined. Her licence remained cancelled.

A number of personal initiatives were undertaken to attempt to regain her driver's licence. This included classroom training with Young Drivers of Canada, correspondence with MLAs and an assessment with a driver rehabilitation specialist. The specialist wished to conduct an on road test, even though he reported cognitive impairment. The Superintendent refused to reinstate the driver's licence to permit this to be done.

Ms. Lewis filed a human rights complaint alleging discrimination under s. 8 of the Human Rights Code, on the grounds of age, physical disability and mental disability. The Human Rights Tribunal dismissed the petition at the request of the Superintendent because it was filed outside the permitted time limit and there was no public interest in accepting it after the fact.

Changes to DriveABLE testing allowed subjects who had failed computer testing to take the on road test. Ms. Lewis did so and the test was discontinued before the end as the examiner felt that it was too dangerous to continue. She recommended that Ms. Lewis's licence remain cancelled and that was the outcome.

Finally, Ms. Lewis asked the Supreme Court to determine that the Tribunal's decision to reject her complaint was unreasonable. The court's decision was that the Tribunal's refusal was not unreasonable and her petition was dismissed.


Read the Reasons for Judgment - Lewis v British Columbia (Public Safety and Solicitor General)

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