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Province working on firm date to cancel red-and-white health cards

An Ontario red-and-white health card

More than two decades after Ontario started phasing out red-and-white health cards, the government is setting a firm end date to cancel all of the remaining ones.

The province has been gradually removing them from the system and issuing residents more secure photo ID health cards since Bob Rae was premier.

Now the Ministry of Health is working with ServiceOntario to set a final day after which red-and-white cards will no longer be accepted.

The specific date hasn’t been set, but Health Minister Christine Elliott says it won’t happen overnight.

The ministry says 400,000 red-and-white cards remain in circulation.

It was late 1994 when the N-D-P government announced that due to fraud and misuse, the cards would be phased out over three years.