Liberals refuse to disclose amount of illegal Drive Clean surplus
QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberal government is refusing to disclose how much it overbilled Ontario drivers for emissions testing under Ontario’s Drive Clean program even though the Auditor General has pointed out these profits amount to an “unlawful” tax, says Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce and PC Environment and Cap-and-Trade Critic.
“The Auditor General specifically warned the Liberal government that it could not claim Drive Clean was revenue-neutral while using the program to make money. But that’s exactly what the Liberals did,” Thompson said during question period today. “The Liberals have generated millions of dollars in profits from the Drive Clean program – which the Auditor General pointed out is an ‘unlawful’ tax and must be paid back to Ontario drivers.”
In question period, both the Finance Minister and Environment Minister refused to reveal the total amount collected and whether the Liberal government plans to use the money it overcharged Ontario drivers to pay for Drive Clean now that the program’s fee has been eliminated.
In 2013, it was disclosed that the Liberals had already accumulated $19 million in profits from Drive Clean, and the Auditor General reported the government was on track to generate a $50-million surplus by the end of the current Drive Clean contract.
“The Liberals should pay back the millions of dollars that they’ve unlawfully taken from Ontario drivers and immediately present a plan to scrap Drive Clean altogether,” Thompson said.
Lisa’s question can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/hn3ggsm