Liberals reject Drive Clean creator’s call to scrap program

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, the Liberals rejected the advice given by former PC Environment Minister Norm Sterling to phase out the temporary Drive Clean program he introduced nearly 15 years ago, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said.

“The Liberals have brought Mr. Sterling on board to advise the government, yet they have already rejected the first piece of advice he’s offered,” Harris said shortly after question period. “As environment minister, Mr. Sterling set up Drive Clean in 1999 as a way to reduce emissions until cars and fuels became cleaner. Now, that that’s happened, he agrees it’s time to phase out the program.”

On Tuesday night, when Mr. Sterling was asked about the Drive Clean program he told CTV News Toronto, “The way to handle this is to sit down in a committee and look at the evidence and say, ‘Okay, how should we wind this down or end it.’ ”

The Liberals remain steadfast in their commitment to the Drive Clean program even as they flout the law by raking in multi-million-dollar profits.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that profits made off of revenue-neutral programs are illegal and must be paid back. Yet the Liberal government continues to force Ontario drivers to fork over millions of dollars in illegal taxes every year. In fact, in just two years the Liberals have collected an additional $30 million using their illegal Drive Clean tax-grab,” Harris said.

“It’s clearer than ever that the Liberals’ support for the Drive Clean program has nothing to do with the environment; it’s just about the money,” Harris concluded.