Ontario Health Card

Ontario is finally cancelling all remaining red-and-white health cards

If you've somehow managed to not lose your Ontario health card ever over the past 25 freaking years, it's time to bite the bullet and renew the proper way.

The provincial government has announced that it will soon be setting a firm end date to cancel all 400,000 of the remaining red-and-white health cards still in circulation across Ontario.

"Some people are still hanging onto their cards, in some part, because nobody has required them to do the conversion," said Health Minister Christine Elliott on Wednesday.

"But in order to be responsible stewards of taxpayers' money, it's necessary to bring that process to an end."

The rather plain old provincial health cards were declared problematic back in 1994 due to a rise in cases of fraud and misuse, particularly within Ontario's border communities.

At that time, the NDP government said that all red-and-white cards would be phased out within three years and replaced with new ones containing photo IDs, more substantial information and enhanced security features.

ServiceOntario has been sending out notices for people to convert ever since, but the old cards remain operational.

"This time, I think we have to send out notices with specific timelines that I'm sure people will respond to," said Elliot, noting that a date has yet to be set and that the transition "won't happen overnight."

Lead photo by

Sean O'Shea


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