Drive Clean Program Ends in Ontario

The start of the new month also marks the end of the 20-year-old Ontario Drive Clean program.

The Drive Clean program was first introduced in 1999 and the provincial conservatives argue that since then, industry standards have significantly improved, resulting in a steady decrease of passenger cars that fail the emissions test.

On Monday, Premier Doug Ford joined Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure, to announce the end of the Drive Clean program.

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford along with Conservative MPPs announce the end of the 20-year Ontario Drive Clean Program, April 1, 2019. (Photo courtesy of @fordnation via Twitter)

With the cancellation of the program, Ontario drivers are not longer required to get Drive Clean emissions tests for their light-duty passenger vehicles, a move Premier Ford claims is "part of the government's commitment to make life easier for vehicle owners and save taxpayers up to $40 million a year."

As part of its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, the government says it has committed to protecting Ontario air from smog-causing pollutants by strengthening on-road enforcement of emissions standards and by launching a new emissions testing program for heavy-duty diesel vehicles, such as commercial transport trucks, in fall 2019.

The federal government's carbon tax also went into effect on Monday for the four provinces that have refused to impose their own carbon pricing system.