‘It’s absolutely ludicrous’: N.B. man struggling to receive birth certificate
A Fredericton-area man says he can't get a birth certificate or an answer about why he cant get one.
Michael Richard, 56, was born in Quebec, but his family wasn’t issued a certificate when he was born.
“When it came time to give the birth certificate, they didn't,” says Richard. “We moved, and it never really came up to do when I went to go get my driver's licence at 17.”
By that time, Richard was living in New Brunswick.
“They accepted my baptismal certificate from the Catholic Church, and my mother had to swear, which she did, so they give me my driver's licence,” says Richard.
But the rules are different now. After living and working in Alberta for 15 years, Richard returned to New Brunswick to find that without “proof of birth” on paper, he wouldn't be able to get a licence to drive a vehicle.
In a statement, the New Brunswick government says it became more stringent, particularly after 9/11, when it came to the kind of identification it would accept.
The province says there is an adjudication system for reviewing any issues with identification, adding that there are no guarantees. They wouldn’t comment on Richard's case.
Richard says he's been fighting the issue for nearly a month.
“I'm a tradesman. They won't give me a licence. I can't get a job because I can't drive. There's no company that's going to hire me and hire a driver for me, and I don't blame them. It's absolutely ludicrous,” says Richard.
Richard is pledging to continue his fight to get a valid certificate of birth, but wants more flexibility from the New Brunswick government.
“I want my driver's licence. I want to stay here. I want to be with my family. But if I can't, I can't. And I've been wasting a lot of time and money and I have to make a decision soon,” Richard says.
Richard is hoping for an exception to be made sooner rather than later.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.