Liberals refuse to immediately end illegal Drive Clean surplus

October 29, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberal government has been caught red handed imposing a multi-million-dollar illegal tax on Ontarians for two years through its Drive Clean program, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

“When I asked the Environment Minister today if he would take immediate steps to end this illegal tax, he said he’d potentially get around to it next year,” Harris said. “That’s like getting caught for pick-pocketing and then telling the police you’ll stop in a few months from now. Wrongdoing should be corrected immediately, not when the perpetrator feels like it.”

Former Auditor General Jim McCarter found in his 2012 report that the Drive Clean program had gone into surplus last year by $11 million. He then advised the government to eliminate the surplus because the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled it is unlawful to make a profit off of a revenue-neutral program.


“Instead of listening to the Auditor General, the Liberals ignored his advice and nearly doubled the illegal Drive Clean surplus,” Harris said. “Under the Liberal government, Ontarians are now paying $19 million dollars in illegal Drive Clean taxes every year.”

The Liberals were also caught earlier this year trying to increase Drive Clean fees by another $18 million. Cabinet documents revealed that the Liberals had approved this massive hike in principle on top of the existing surplus in spite of the Auditor General’s warning.

“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.

To watch Harris’s question, click on the link: