Scrap Drive Clean in the Media

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Nov. 11, 2014 – Toronto Star – It’s time to cancel Drive Clean program

TORONTO – The Ontario Drive Clean program was introduced in 1999 in an effort to reduce harmful exhaust emissions. Since the program’s inception, the program has been a colossal failure. The problem is that 95 per cent of the vehicles tested prior to 2013 passed with flying colours, as reported by the CBC. An Auditor General’s Report (2012) confirmed that 75 per cent of lower vehicle emissions since 1999 have derived from better manufacture’s standards for emissions-control equipment and federal requirements for cleaner fuel — not from Drive Clean. Further contributing to Drive Clean’s ineffectiveness is the new computerized testing procedures, which measure onboard computers instead of actual tailpipe emissions on seven year-old (and older) vehicles. These new procedures resulted in an immediate 3 per cent bump in failure rates. Read More

Apr. 20, 2014 – Bullet News Niagara – Tories want Drive Clean scrapped

ST. CATHARINES — The Progressive Conservatives say the Drive Clean program has outlived its usefulness and have promised to end the program when they form the government in Queen’s Park.
PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris was joined by Mat Siscoe, PC candidate for the St. Catharines riding, and Frank Notte, spokesperson for the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) at a campaign-style event at Suburu of Niagara on Lake Street in St. Catharines.
“The PC party of Ontario is the only party that will scrap drive clean all together,” said Harris. “The NDP are unconditionally supporting the government and the Liberals on keeping this program that is a nuisance, is costly to Ontarians and to automobile dealers like Suburu of Niagara when they are trying to make a transaction.” Read More

Mar. 04, 2014 – Global News Toronto – Exclusive: Newer cars almost never fail Drive Clean. Why keep testing them?

TORONTO — The data reveal stratospheric pass rates for newer-model cars – so much so it’s leading some to question why bother testing these vehicles at all.
“Drive Clean was a temporary program that has now outlived its usefulness,” Progressive Conservative environment critic Michael Harris told Global Toronto’s Sean O’Shea Tuesday. “With the advancement in fuel technology, it’s rendered the program useless, really, and we’re calling for it to be scrapped.” Read More

Dec. 18, 2013 – The Toronto Sun – Ontario announces lower fees for Drive Clean

TORONTO — Sun Media, in a number of articles this year, pointed out significant problems with the program including false fails and price gouging.
Progressive Conservative MPP Michael Harris said Drive Clean has long served its original purpose to cut polluting vehicle emissions and a fee cut doesn’t go far enough.
“It’s not good enough for Ontario drivers who’ve had to fork over these fees for this unnecessary program for years,” Harris said. “It needs to be scrapped altogether.”
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Dec. 18, 2013 – The Toronto Star – Drive Clean $35 fee to be reduced

TORONTO — “Reducing the fees isn’t going to be good enough, Drive Clean should be scrapped all together,” Tory transportation critic Michael Harris told the Star Tuesday.
Harris has often criticized Liberals for imposing more than $19 million in “illegal taxes.” Even the Supreme Court of Canada has frowned on so-called revenue neutral government programs being turn into a cash cow.
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Dec. 18, 2013 – Globe and Mail – Ontario lowers fee for Drive Clean emissions test

TORONTO — The program was “more about the money than it was about the environment,” Tory Michael Harris said.
“With cleaner fuels and cleaner cars today, the failure rate of Drive Clean was less than 5 per cent, and it’s time for the Drive Clean program to be scrapped,” he said.
“No point in tinkering around the edges, lowering fees here and there, let’s scrap it altogether.”
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Oct. 30, 2013 – CTV News Toronto – Former Environment Minister says this program has got to go

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Oct. 29, 2013 – SUN News Toronto – Ontario government stalling at reducing Drive Clean fee: PC MPP

TORONTO — The Ontario government is stuck in the slow lane when it comes to reducing the fee for Drive Clean, Progressive Conservative MPP Michael Harris says. Despite warnings from the auditor general that the profits soaked up by the government could be ruled an illegal tax, Harris said the government continues to put off dealing with the issue as the surplus swells to $19 million.
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Oct. 28, 2013 – CTV News Toronto – Ontario government stalling at reducing Drive Clean fee: PC MPP

TORONTO — CTV News has learned that of the 1.6 million Ontario Drive Clean On-Board Diagnostic tests done this year, the initial failure rate has risen from 5 per cent in 2012 to 8 per cent this year, after changes to the system used for testing vehicles.
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June 2, 2013 – SUN News Toronto – Critics say new Ontario Drive Clean test is a waste of money

TORONTO — This past January, shops across the Ontario started using new test machines that read on-board vehicle computers, and bugs in the system are frustrating drivers. Drive Clean is a mandatory $35 test required every two years for vehicles seven years or older.
If your car fails, you can’t renew your licence plate sticker.
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June 3, 2013 – SUN News Toronto – PCs criticize Liberals about Drive Clean claims

TORONTO – The Liberal government has failed to provide accurate answers in the face of criticism about Ontario’s embattled Drive Clean program, Tory MPP Michael Harris insisted Monday.
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Feb. 15, 2013 – The Windsor Star – Vander Doelen: Drive Clean’s dirty secret

WINDSOR – As you may have already heard from other frustrated drivers, having your car or truck emissions tested to renew your licence plates has become a HUGE pain. If you thought Drive Clean was just a disguised tax and a waste of your valuable time before, well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
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Feb. 11, 2013 – SUN News Toronto – Scrap Drive Clean: Environment critic

BRANTFORD – The government’s new Drive Clean program is expensive for consumers and, with today’s more efficient cars, no longer necessary, said the Conservative environment critic during a Brantford visit on Friday. Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris called for the government to scrap the Drive Clean program as he visited Strickland’s GMC on Lynden Road.
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Feb. 6, 2013 – Welland Tribune – Drive Clean fails the test

WELLAND – We have been a Drive Clean test and repair facility since the start of this program. A couple of months ago, the Ontario government decided to update the program — all test or test and repair facilities had to make a significant investment in new equipment or drop out of the program.
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Jan. 31, 2013 – autofocus.ca – Half of cars fail new test: mechanics

ONTARIO – Ontario’s new DriveClean vehicle emissions test process is supposed to be quicker and more accurate, but instead it’s giving some independent and dealer garages a major headache.
Under the new DriveClean guidelines introduced this January, vehicles from model years 1998 and newer will undergo an OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) test instead of an emissions test directly at the tailpipe.
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Jan. 30, 2013 – CBC NEWS OTTAWA – Failure rate of Ontario emissions tests sparks criticism

OTTAWA – Ontario’s auditor general has questioned the effectiveness of the province’s emissions testing program leading Conservatives to call the Drive Clean program “redundant.” As of Jan. 1, emissions testing in Ontario changed and began using the on-board diagnostic testing method instead of the old method of measuring exhaust emissions straight from the tailpipe.
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Mar. 13, 2013 – Brampton Guardian – Tories exhausted with Drive Clean program

BRAMPTON – Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives want to rid drivers of the vehicle emissions testing program they believe the Liberals are using as a smokescreen to collect more cash from taxpayers. Conservative Party Environment Critic Michael Harris visited a Brampton auto service centre and dealership Wednesday morning looking to widen public support for an end to province’s Drive Clean program.
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