Ontario Government Ends Drive Clean Program

Drive Clean Program Ends April 2019

Statement from Frank Notte of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association on the Elimination of Drive Clean

Toronto – September 28, 2018 – “Today’s announcement by Premier Doug Ford to eliminate the Drive Clean program is good news for the auto sector, taxpayers and drivers. It cuts red tape, and saves time and money.

What started out as a temporary program in 1999 to clean the environment, turned into a permanent program that eventually cleaned out taxpayers’ wallets instead.

Drive Clean has shown little value for money, costing tens of millions of dollars every year for a program that is well past its best before date. With virtually every vehicle on the road – 95 percent – passing the test, Drive Clean has achieved its goal and Premier Ford is right to put Drive Clean into retirement.

Ontario’s new car dealers have been calling for the cancellation of Drive Clean since 2012. That’s when Ontario’s Auditor General reported vehicle emissions were reduced by 75 percent courtesy of better emission control standards and federal requirements for cleaner fuel – not Drive Clean.

The Auditor General also discovered Drive Clean was running a surplus, although it was always meant to be a revenue neutral program. This meant it was on track to become an illegal tax according to a 1998 Supreme Court of Canada decision that said user fees cannot exceed the cost of delivering the program. This was further proof the government of the day was more concerned about making money than cleaning our air.

Ontario is now in the mainstream, becoming the last province to eliminate their mandatory vehicle emissions program. No longer will auto dealers waste money on equipment and overhead costs, freeing up money to invest in their business.

Since 2011, the Ontario PC Caucus at Queen’s Park has advocated for eliminating the Drive Clean program. We extend our heartfelt thanks to those PC MPPs who spoke out against this waste of time and money then, and to Premier Ford and the current PC Caucus for cancelling Drive Clean since forming government.

Since 1908, the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association has been the voice of Ontario’s franchised, new car dealers. Our 1,100 member dealers directly employ over 45,000 people and generate $37 billion in retail sales annually.


For More Information Please Contact:
Frank Notte
Director Government Relations