Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday September 29, 2018
Doug Ford kills Drive Clean emissions testing
The brakes are being slammed on the controversial Drive Clean auto emissions plan.
Premier Doug Ford announced Friday that as of April 1 of next year, the “outdated” mandatory program for passenger cars and trucks will lend.
Instead, the Progressive Conservative government will clamp down on big commercial polluters by enhancing the smog checks on transport trucks and other industrial vehicles.
“By ending Drive Clean tests and repairs for passenger vehicles, this government is reducing the burden on residents and families who own a car,” Ford said at a service garage on Martin Grove Rd.
“They no longer need to take time out of their days to take their vehicles in for unnecessary tests,” the premier said, adding the government will save $40 million a year.
That’s because the previous Liberal government eliminated the $30 test fees last year, but Queen’s Park still had to foot the tab.
Created by former Tory premier Mike Harris in 1999, Drive Clean has long been a bone of contention for motorists because most vehicles passed the emissions tests.
Successive PC and Liberal governments resisted the temptation to halt the program because it kept 335 tonnes of pollutants out of the air annually.
Cars and trucks are responsible for one third of all emissions of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.
Green Leader Mike Schreiner said while “the Drive Clean program is no longer as relevant as it once was,” the new Tory government has done nothing to reduce pollution since taking office 12 weeks ago.
“When you look at the list of things this government has done on the environment file, all you see are cuts,” said Schreiner, pointing to the decision to exit the cap-and-trade climate accord with Quebec and California. (Source: Toronto Star)