Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dalton’s folly?

The Dalton McGuinty government plans to offer $4,000 to $10,000 in incentives to those who purchase electric cars, starting next year. The financial incentives are part of the Ontario government’s plan to be in the vanguard of the next generation of the auto industry.

The idea of vehicles powered by non-carbon based energy might be a good one if the alternative energy was not itself generated by carbon-based fuels.

Just where will Ontario’s electricity come from to fuel these electric cars? Ontario’s future electricity supply is not at all assured and will probably be based, at least in part, on carbon-burning sources such as coal and natural gas. Electricity is clean when used as a fuel, but “dirty” when generated by non-renewable energy sources.

This is only the start. Look for millions of Ontario tax dollars to be spent on infrastructure—like charging stations—to support these $40,000 (minimum) autos that only the well-to-do can afford. And by the way, these are short-trip vehicles, with some early models expected to go 64 kilometres on a charge. Say good-by to trips to the family cottage or expect to stop and charge up every 45 minutes or so.

Why not offer a $10,000 incentive to residents to trade in 10-year-old vehicles which pollute the environment? That would be a better investment and would stimulate the purchase of all types and costs of cars as replacements for the old polluters, giving a boost to the economy and a chance for ordinary residents on low or medium incomes to participate in the government give-away.

I’d feel much better about this decision if we had a more credible person calling the shots at Queen’s Park. I wouldn’t trust Premier McGuinty or any of his ministers with a dime of my tax money after seeing them lie, stumble and bumble through the better part of a term and a half in office.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. Is Ontario suddenly flush with cash?

    I'm pretty sure there are schools and hospitals in the province that could better use this "promised" money.

    What utter nonsense!

    Unless of course he plans to raise taxes...again.

  2. Why not just mandate that Ontario's dirty gasoline be de-sulphured at a cost of 2-3 cents per litre? Sure there'd be some weeping and wailing from a few drivers, but we'd survive.

    They could also fit scrubbers to the coal plants (the ones they were supposed to close by 2007) for a couple of hundred million.

    Those two things alone would do a lot more to clean up the air than a few thousand electric cars.

    Poor Dalton, he just can't do anything right.

  3. Just look at Ontario Drive Clean Parogram that does not test cars for the most air polluting emission sulphur dioxide.
    Why Ontario government shows no interest in that issue??
    It would require limits on sulfur content in gasoline sold in the province and that is something McGuinty and his flunkies at Queen's Park cannot swing.
    If Dalton wants to turn Ontario into California North limiting acid rain (sulphur dioxide mixed in the air with water vapor turns into sulphuric acid) would be a good start.

  4. The Ontario Government now owns a share in GM, who also produces the Chevy Volt electric car that is soon to be released. This seems to be an additional bail out to ensure GM (Government Motors) and its new Volt get a competitive edge thanks to a huge subsidy of taxpayers money.