Rejected marriage commissioner out $500 application fee

A P.E.I. woman was astonished to discover she would not be refunded her $500 application fee after she was rejected as a marriage commissioner.

'Whether I believe or not that the fee is very high ... is not the issue here.'

A P.E.I. woman was astonished to discover she would not be refunded her $500 application fee after she was rejected as a marriage commissioner.

Cheryl MacLeod doesn't believe the marriage commissioner fee should be non-refundable. (Cheryl MacLeod)

Cheryl MacLeod applied for the licence after her cousin asked her to officiate at her wedding. MacLeod also knows sign language, and thought once she had her licence she could perform ceremonies for people who are deaf.

MacLeod was told her reference letters weren't good enough. She added more information, but her application was still rejected.

"When I first went in to pass in my application, we asked the receptionist if this was a sure thing, if there was any chance that it would get rejected. She laughed and assured me that nobody got rejected," she said.

"I felt really confident. If I knew going in that I was paying somebody $500 just to get an email back from them saying no, I probably wouldn't have done it."

Laura Lee Noonan, director of Vital Statistics with the province, said if reference letters fail to outline exactly why an applicant would make a good marriage commissioner, the application is rejected.

"Whether I believe or not that the fee is very high at $500, and that it isn't refundable, is not the issue here. I have to follow the law. That's my job," said Noonan.

Noonan is reviewing the legislation and looking at reducing the application fee, or perhaps offering partial refunds.

Macleod's cousin had planned to pay the fee as part of her marriage costs, but MacLeod said since it didn't work out she is paying the $500 herself.

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