ST THOMAS – For a program that many consider to be inconvenient, MPP Jeff Yurek is also saying that the DriveClean program no longer serves a valid purpose and needs to be scrapped.
Yurek made the comments amid increasing public dissatisfaction with the program and the most recent Auditor General’s report that questioned the effectiveness of the program.
“The program was originally implemented to encourage manufacturers to build more fuel efficient cars,” said Yurek. “I think its quite clear they’ve done that. The reality is emissions from passenger vehicles are not the primary source of smog in Southern Ontario. It only makes sense for us to halt this program.”
The DriveClean program collects $30 million from automobile owners every year. This money goes to administering the program. Drivers with vehicles over seven years old must get a test every two years. Service Ontario will not renew license plates or someone’s vehicle registration without confirmation that the vehicle has passed its emissions test.
“Since it was implemented in 2001, 75% of emission reductions have been attributable to factors completely independent of the DriveClean program,” noted Yurek. “We must recognize that this program is not longer effective and unnecessarily burdens the average southern Ontario resident.”
Yurek said that a number of people have called his office with complaints about the DriveClean program. New testing methods have resulted in uncertainty and inconvenience for individuals who in some cases must retest their vehicles multiple times before receiving a pass.
“At a time when there are 600,000 people out of work, we should not be endorsing another barrier for people to get to work or get out to find a job.
“The bottom line is the DriveClean program is no longer delivering substantial benefits. Therefore, we should scrap it and let more Ontario drivers hold on to their money.”
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