Fighting to Make Life More Affordable

Published on April 01, 2019

Ontario announces the end of the outdated Drive Clean Program, and vows to continue to stand against the federal carbon tax.

MISSISSAUGA — The Ontario government is putting people first and making life more convenient and affordable for drivers by ending Ontario’s ineffective Drive Clean program, while continuing the fight against the newly imposed federal carbon tax.

"Our government promised to make life easier and more affordable for the people of Ontario," said Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore. "The end of the outdated Drive Clean program will save the taxpayers of Ontario more than $40 million each and every year."

According to the Auditor General, on-road emissions have declined so steeply that they are no longer the biggest contributor to smog. 75% of these reductions have come through stricter manufacturing standards, requirements for cleaner fuels and the natural retirement of older vehicles -- not as a result of Drive Clean.

While the Ontario government cuts red tape and reduces the burden on taxpayers, the federal government’s carbon tax takes effect today. The carbon tax will cost the average Ontario driver $57 at the pumps in 2019, at 4.4 cents per litre. By 2022, drivers could be paying up to $180 more a year because of this job-killing tax.

"We’re focused on keeping money in people’s pockets, not taking it away," said Premier Doug Ford. "Unfortunately, the federal carbon tax is going to make the cost of filling up your tank more expensive. I promise the people of Ontario that our government will continue to fight this tax with every tool at our disposal."

As part of its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, the province 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. This new program will result in more major polluters being tested.

"We know that the carbon tax will raise costs to every person in Ontario that drives a car,” said the Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment Conservation and Parks. Our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan serves as proof that we can fight climate change without a carbon tax."


Quick Facts

  • Beginning on April 1, 2019, the federal government will apply a fuel charge to fossil fuels in Ontario, resulting in an estimated increase of 4.4 cents per litre for gasoline. This will rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021 and 11.1 cents per litre in April 2022.
  • The federal carbon charge will cost a typical household $258/year in 2019, rising to $648 by 2022.
  • Ontario’s court challenge will be heard in April.
  • Since the Drive Clean program was first introduced in 1999, industry standards have significantly improved, resulting in a steady decrease in the number of passenger cars that fail the emissions test. In 2017, the fail rate was reduced to five per cent.
  • As outlined in Ontario’s Environment Plan, the province is committed to reducing emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, while recognizing the unique circumstances of our economy. From 2005 to 2016, Ontario reduced its emissions by about 22 per cent.


Additional Resources



Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP
(905) 274-8228