Environment Minister stands behind technically flawed emissions test

QUEEN’S PARKThe Liberals continue to stubbornly defend their flawed Drive Clean test, which has caused the failure rate to double in just two months as a result of technical errors, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

“Every day countless vehicles fail this new test – not because of emissions-related problems – but because of a computer glitch,” Harris said. “Rather than address these technical issues, the Environment Minister defended the Liberals’ changes to the Drive Clean program, which continue to drive up costs for consumers and car dealers.”

In question period, Harris pointed out that vehicle emissions have steadily declined in Ontario and other jurisdictions largely as a result of tighter manufacturing standards and cleaner fuels.

The Liberal government in B.C., for instance, has acknowledged that technology has rendered its emissions-testing program redundant and has begun phasing it out.

“Ontario, on the other hand, rushed to introduce a new test even though the Auditor General has questioned the overall effectiveness of the program now that vehicle emissions are no longer a major contributor to smog,” Harris said.

When Harris asked the Environment Minister what makes the situation different between Ontario and B.C., he was unable to provide an answer.

“The Liberals knew their new test would increase the failure rate, yet they introduced it earlier this year against the advice of the Auditor General,” Harris said. “To me, this seems like another cynical attempt to justify a program that’s evolved into nothing more than a government cash grab.”