Despite my little digs earlier today, my writings usually avoid any sort of political leanings, largely because I have none. A response from a Ministry of the Environment spokesperson today however caught me off guard and ticked me off.
Ontario announced last week that it will be scrapping the fees for Drive Clean testing, but only for vehicles which are over 7 years old.
On deadline this morning for a story in another publication, I sent an email asking simply “Has a date been set for the removal of the Drive Clean fee?” I did not receive a timely answer, so thinking that perhaps the person I messaged might be on vacation, I decided to make a phone call. No answer, so I left a voice message. Not long after, I received an email from Lindsay Davidson of the MOE (not the person I had originally sent the message to) that said: “We are eliminating the test fee to reduce the burden on vehicle owners. Drive Clean improves air quality and protects people’s health. Vehicle emissions are responsible for about 22 per cent of smog-causing pollution created in Ontario, despite today’s cleaner vehicles and fuels. We are currently determining the implementation timing and will announce this at a later date.”
Note that I did not ask why the fee was being removed, I simply asked when. What I got was a justification from a government agency which has already proven that it does not have the consumers, nor the testing facility’s best interests at hand.
Rant aside, if you are wondering if you will have to pay for your next Drive Clean, there is no answer yet.