Ford government scraps Ontario's Drive Clean Program

Sep 28 2018, 2:53 pm

Premier Doug Ford has announced the cancellation of the Drive Clean program, which mandated emissions tests every two years on vehicles seven years of age or older.

According to the provincial government, this move will save Ontario taxpayers money and reduce the “regulatory burden on Ontario families while enhancing regulations for the biggest polluters on Ontario’s roads.”

As of April 1, 2019, Ontario drivers will no longer be required to get Drive Clean emissions tests for their passenger 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, so they no longer need to take time out of their days to take their vehicles in for unnecessary tests,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“We’re saving taxpayers over $40 million every year. And we’re better targeting the biggest polluters to protect Ontario’s air.”

“When first introduced by a previous Progressive Conservative government in 1999, Drive Clean was effective. It provided a way to target emissions related to smog and other environmental problems,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“This has resulted in a steady decrease in the number of cars that fail the emissions test. Drive Clean was intended to be a time-limited program, and as the years passed, so did its usefulness.

“It has provided less and less value for taxpayer dollars.”

The province says a new, enhanced program will replace the current one, focusing on heavy-duty vehicles like commercial transport trucks, while ensuring Ontario continues to lead Canada in reducing harmful smog-causing pollutants.

According to a release, a policy proposal has been posted on the Environmental Registry for 30 days to encourage public consultation on the changes to the Drive Clean program, including the redesign of the heavy-duty program.

“By enhancing our testing of heavy-duty vehicles, we will ensure that Ontario continues to lead Canada in reducing harmful smog-causing pollutants,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation.

“These changes will make a real, long-term difference for our air quality, while respecting taxpayer dollars today.”

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