Bulk of record Volkswagen fine could be used to fund green projects in Ontario and Quebec

In this Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, file photo a logo of the car manufacturer Volkswagen is pictured on top of a company building in Wolfsburg, Germany. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Sohn

The bulk of the record fine of $196.5 million imposed last week on Volkswagen for the 'Dieselgate' scandal in Canada could be used to carry out environmental projects in Quebec and Ontario.

The fine was approved by an Ontario judge after Volkswagen pleaded guilty to 60 counts of environmental offences in Canada for polluting the air via its vehicles while they were using software that falsified data on the effectiveness of their emission control system.

The full fine will be paid into the "Environmental Damages Fund" that is managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

In his verbal decision rendered on Jan. 22, Judge Enzo Rondinelli of the Ontario Court recommended directing the money into the EDF so that millions could be invested in projects in the provinces where the largest number of Volkswagen vehicles have been sold, said Karina Kessaris, Quebec regional director for environmental law enforcement at Environment Canada, who attended the hearing before the magistrate.

Approximately 128,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles with the faulty software were sold in Canada between 2008 and 2015.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2020.