The danger of electric vehicle subsidies
Lorrie Goldstein’s Oct. 13 column on electric-vehicle subsidies provided a valuable insight into the validity of the federal government’s electric-vehicle subsidy program in terms of cost per tonne of carbon emissions reduction.
The conclusion is it’s a very expensive and relatively ineffective way of mitigating climate change.
In Ontario, there’s marked reluctance on the part of the Ford government to embrace electric vehicles. Their cancellation of the Wynne-era purchase subsidies and removal from the residential building code of a “rough-in” for home vehicle charging are indicative.
The provincial subsidy promised to the Ford Motor Company in Oakville to transition to electric-vehicle production is probably more about protecting good paying jobs than unbridled enthusiasm for the resulting zero-emission products.
What the province may be anticipating is an accelerated fall in gas tax revenues as electric vehicles proliferate. Gas taxes are used to build and maintain highways and contribute to the capital and operating cost of public transit. It’s worth noting hydro prices in Ontario are taxpayer subsidized, so increased use for vehicle charging will be a further drain on provincial coffers.
The possible solutions to these issues are politically challenging at a time when the province’s debt and deficits are at all-time highs and many families have seen a drop in income due to the pandemic. Each one involves price and tax increases, a reduction in government spending in other critical areas or – perish the thought – a broad application of road tolls.
It will be interesting to see how the provincial government handles this looming reality. The Ford government’s “Made in Ontario Environmental Plan” and spending on new highway projects may now need a serious rethink.
Rural internet woes
With this second wave of COVID-19, schools may close and parents will not be able to afford rural Internet charges, due also to the fact they may not be working. Should the government decide to provide the money for school kids’ connectivity, remember, that will come out of your pocket, too.
Think about the reason rural residents live so far apart. Cows, pigs, chickens, vegetables need hectares of land.
Farmers provide food, but can’t get unlimited Internet access because rural internet service is not profitable.
I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner.
Driving test worries
I would like to know why the signs on Highway 401 are so tall you can only see the bottom half in your headlights at night.
And also, why has the Ministry of Transportation suspended the group education session for seniors older than 80? I took the test when I turned 80, but when I turned 82 in February it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Now, I cannot renew my driver’s licence, but I’m still allowed to drive until I can take the test.
Why are all the seniors who were due to take the test (and might have failed it) still allowed to drive?
There was a waiting list before, so now there will be a huge backlog when the test is available again.
It’s a simple test and I think the people who come up with these weird ideas need to take some kind of an IQ test.