Liberals ignore facts, introduce more stringent Drive Clean test

January 16, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberal government hasn’t let facts get in the way of its latest set of changes to Ontario’s unnecessary Drive Clean program, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

The Liberals introduced more stringent emissions testing in Ontario less than a month after the Auditor General released his report, which found that Drive Clean has had little to no impact on the reduction of emissions in Ontario and that the program has had a failure rate of less than 10% every year since 2004.

“Technology has improved to the point where Drive Clean has become redundant,” Harris said. “The Auditor General’s findings clearly show that the Liberals should have begun phasing out the program long ago. Instead, in typical Liberal fashion, they have gone in the opposite direction, introducing an exacting new test that will only send the failure rate up.”

The Liberals’ newly developed e-test assesses a vehicle’s computer, which already performs a continuous series of emissions checks while it’s running. If anything is amiss, the check engine light will turn on, indicating a repair is needed.

The switch to this new test means vehicles that would have passed under the old requirements will now receive an automatic fail if the check engine light is on.

“These changes are clearly unwarranted at a time when the Auditor General has questioned the overall effectiveness of the program, which costs Ontarians $30 million a year,” Harris said. “Clearly, Drive Clean has outlived its usefulness and should be scrapped.”