Man wants compensation after licence suspension
Lee Wilbur lost his licence for two years for no valid reason
A man from Mount Uniacke says he’s ready to take the province to court for compensation after his driver’s licence was revoked for two years.
Lee Wilbur lost his licence at the end of 2010 based on a complaint from another driver. He was given a ticket for failing to remain at the scene of an accident but he was never convicted.
Wilbur had to appeal to the same people who took his licence away.
His case led the province to create an independent appeal board. In January, that board reinstated Wilbur’s licence.
Wilbur said through the two year process, he was never told why he was suspended. He said that came with a hefty price.
"We knew we had to go to a lawyer and have him fight any possibility in that paperwork," he said.
Wilbur isn’t the only one who was left with questions over the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Wilbur said he should never have been put through the ordeal in the first place because earlier court cases highlighted issues that should have been dealt with before.
"We went back through the years, going to the Supreme Court against the Registrar, and we found that he had been told a few times over the last few years that he had to change what he was going with his appeals and he never did."
The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the Registrar didn't provide a Yarmouth woman with procedural fairness.
Annie Eleanor MacKinnon lost her licence, and her ability to work, for four months based on a driving incident in New Brunswick for which she paid a fine. It didn't include a suspension. Like Wilbur, she was not told why she lost her licence.
"When the Supreme Court tells you that you should change what you are doing, you should change what you are doing, and he did not."
Wilbur wants $10,000 for expenses. The Minister for Service Nova Scotia, John MacDonell, says no.
"I know the case well," MacDonell said. "I felt he deserved a better hearing, a better process. I felt I had an obligation to put that in place. And I think that’s government’s responsibility. But I don’t think that’s our responsibility to cover his cost."
Wilbur said a lawsuit could cost the government even more money.
"We don’t tell him to spend money," MacDonell said. "He could come and present his case himself."