Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Canada trading bikes for old cars

New National Vehicle Scrappage program begins next year to exchange old cars with bikes, transit passes, car-sharing memberships

Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, today was joined by the Clean Air Foundation to launch a National Vehicle Scrappage Program, which will offer incentives to people who retire their 1995 or older model vehicles.

This program will be fully operating by January 2009, and will encourage people to scrap their gas-guzzling vehicles and to turn to environmentally-friendly transportation. The incentives over the scrap value of the vehicle include:
  • Public transit passes
  • Bicycles
  • Membership in a car-sharing program
  • $300 cash
  • a rebate on the purchase of a new car (from private resources)
"We know Canadians want to do their part to help clean up the air we breathe and our Government shares their desire," said Minister Baird. "That's why we are launching a national program to get Canadian's smog-causing gas-guzzlers off the road. This investment, combined with our Turning the Corner plan to cut air pollution from industry by up to 50 per cent, is what Canadians want and what we are delivering."

The Government is providing $92 million over four years to implement the program, which will be delivered by the Clean Air Foundation - a national not-for-profit organization that runs the award-winning Car Heaven program.

"We are thrilled to be leading this program," said Ersilia Serafini, Executive Director of the Clean Air Foundation. "Car Heaven is a leading program in Canada and we look forward to working with additional local programs to build on their experience and to enhance this network nationally even more."

Of the 18 million cars and trucks on Canada's roads, about five million were manufactured before 1996, when new environmentally standards were introduced.

This initiative is part of the Government's Turning the Corner action plan, which includes a commitment to reduce emissions from transportation sources and cut smog-forming industrial air pollution in half by 2015.

Visit Vehicle Scrappage for more details.


aidan said...

That is a shock to this Canadian! However, don’t expect it to amount to much. The Conservative government (’Conservative’ is a name, like ‘Republican’, just more honest) has a notorious environmental reputation, as does that particular ministerial tool, Baird.

As background, the Conservative power-base, and swing vote, is in Alberta (like Nebraska) which is a resource-province: ever hear of the tar-sands? That’s where they are. This policy is total green-washing, and will do a lot less good than ending subsidies to, much less shutting down, the tar-sands.

The federal gov’t is so sad that the two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have done an end-run: announced their own carbon-sharing agreement.

SiouxGeonz said...

Did they get the idea from the New Belgium Brewery?

Coelecanth said...

Car Heaven has been around for years but I'd never heard about getting a bike for your old junker. Everyone I know who's used it took the $300 cash.

aidan: the gov is just funding something that's been going on successfully, it will continue.

You're right about the rest of it though. I'm from Edmonton and there's no way any gov is going to shoot the cash-cow that is the tar-sands. Never mind that the resource boom is driving up prices to the point where anyone who isn't involved is struggling to afford food and housing. Makes me glad I'm moving to Australia. :}

aidan said...

You know the tar-sands, no resource-capitalism, is entirely insane when they use something like 4l of water to extract 1l of oil, in a desparately dry province, never mind the emissions and thousands of acres of 'tailings'. Then you hear about the plan to build nuclear reactors to make energy to extract the oil!! Those people ARE the federal Conservatives.

'Coelecanth', I'd be fleeing Alberta too, but a shame you have to go so far. I'm drawn to 'la belle province', myself.

Ron Georg said...


I'll bet this has Toyota licking their chops. They'll sell plenty of nickel-laden priuses (priusi?) to customers with incentives in hand and lightness in their hearts (and heads).
The truth is, a huge portion of a car's carbon footprint is in its manufacture and disposal. Buying a new car, no matter how efficient, puts you in the carbon hole right off the bat.
Keep the old car, but leave it home and ride a bike. If you want to save the planet, help put the auto manufacturers out of business.
Happy Trais,
Ron Georg

Dauphin said...

I have to admit I don't understand a lot of these comments. I think this is a great initiative that the government has re-highlighted.

Aidan: Please stop using this program as a way to bash on Conservatives. Alberta is a considered a have-province that has given money to the East over the years many times by reallocation. This also means that you're enjoying money made by the tar-sands as well. As someone else pointed out, manufacturing also causes pollution. How about shutting down manufacturing in the east to save pollution? Please don't judge on things you don't fully understand. As you've noted, you've never lived here in Alberta before just as I have never lived in the East.

Coelecanth: I am also from Edmonton, and have traded my car in for a bike due to its usability around the University.