More Deterrents for Driving Poor Fuel-Economy Vehicles

More Deterrents for Driving Poor Fuel-Economy Vehicles

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Katie M. started this petition to The Honourable Catherine McKenna (Canadian Minister of the Environment) and

Dear Ministers, Policy Directors, and Advisors,

"Best-In-Class Cargo Capacity!"

"Highest Payload in its Class!"

"XXXX lbs of Torque!"

Does your family vehicle, or that of someone you know, make a promise such as this - one that is completely non-essential outside of business purposes?

Has the idea of a carbon tax, which some provincial administrations have so ardently protested, really achieved what they fear so much - that people will stop buying these vehicles, and rend the economy asunder?

No. On the contrary, Canada is being hastened to its demise by the excessiveness of our personal transportation.

In 2016, nearly all of the new vehicle sales over the previous years were made up of Sport Utility, Pickup Truck, and Van purchases.¹

In 2012, 25% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions came from gasoline- or diesel-fueled cars used for road transportation.² (That doesn't even include the roughly 10% for off-road transportation.) So that was before all of these new gas-guzzlers hit the road.

As you are no doubt aware, a paper entitled "Canada's Changing Climate Report" made the news recently, just as the Ford government in Ontario vowed to fight the new federal carbon tax by any means.

This report projects that, if the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues unabated, an extreme heat event, such as a flood or forest fire, will happen every other year, starting... well, pretty much now.³ We've already seen the start of this. Fort McMurray was decimated in 2016. Somewhere between 50 and 100 people in Montréal died last year due to the extreme heat[4], in addition to over a hundred in a similar heat wave in 2010. In B.C., the forest fires of 2018 were the largest on record. And these events beget still more air pollution.

Emissions from family and personal vehicles should not be allowed to contribute unabated to the destruction and death in places like Fort McMurray, Montréal, and B.C.. Non-business vehicles should be made for carrying people, first and foremost. Not "sport utility". Not "maximum payload". Such designations are for vehicles that will, by nature, be less fuel-efficient and contribute more to an impending climatological disaster.

If a "personal vehicle" has express commercial or industrial purposes in its marketing or design - or is marketed for leisure or entertainment, as in off-roading or racing - then we need to consider it a different class of vehicle.

Here are some options:

  •  In addition to vehicles over 3000 lbs., vehicles that surpass a certain litres-per-kilometre threshold should count as needing designated plates.
  • Provide a cash-back incentive for vehicles that average less than, say, 6.5L/100km. Some people are attached to their old technology, but we need to positively reinforce better choices, and can do this with a credit like that being offered federally for electric cars (albeit smaller).
  •  Impose a fee on dealerships for every poor fuel-economy vehicle that they sell, especially to non-commercial customers. This would incentivize dealers to sell their clients on a more reasonable vehicle - which would, in turn, dissuade automakers from marketing unsustainable vehicles.
  • In the case of vehicles with largely commercial and industrial applications, drivers should need to provide proof that their livelihood requires such a vehicle, and / or be required to register for a commercial driver's license (or a similar, tailor-made class of licence).
  • If it is primarily being used as personal transportation, an additional tax should be levied on this excessive source of pollution. A carbon tax doesn't even seem to be enough.

I know there are already measures in place, such as the higher cost for licence plates, and incidentals, such as higher insurance rates, for pickups in particular. I am frankly just so scared for the future, and think more needs to be done to diminish the known hazards to our collective health. I grew up caring deeply about the environment and believing that, by this point in my life, I might be living in a changed world - for better, not for worse.

I know the federal government is taking this seriously - so please, for all of us, PLEASE keep on the right path. Consider the future of this country and of the world, and do everything you can to make it livable for its people.

Even for those of us who may not seem to know better.

Sources:

Image: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-gas-prices-climate-change-analysis-wherry-1.5079772

1. http://www.downloads.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/documents/2015/012-3452.pdf

2. https://www.canadianfuels.ca/Blog/February-2017/What-kinds-of-cars-are-Canadians-buying-You-might-be-surprised/

3. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/canada-warming-at-twice-the-global-rate-leaked-report-finds-1.5079765

4. https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/environment-canada-issues-smog-alert-for-southern-quebec-1.3675936

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!