TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the Ontario government to halt subsidies for electric vehicles. The call follows revelations that a senior political staffer for Environment Minister Glenn Murray received a job with Tesla shortly after Tesla successfully lobbied for a 367 per cent increase to the taxpayer subsidy on their cars. (Photo: Telsa Headquarters, Sunnyvale, California: Credit Windell Oskay/Wikipedia/Creative Commons)

“We are deeply troubled by the fact that the government has essentially handed millions of taxpayer money to Tesla, a firm that manufactures green status-cars in California, and then a senior political staffer took a prime job with the company,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn. “It looks like government was lobbied by Tesla to increase the subsidy, and then after getting the 367 per cent increase, paid back the favour by hiring a senior political staffer to work for them.”

In 2016, the maximum subsidy to cars retailing between $75,000 and $150,000 was reduced from $8,500 to $3,000. The government had faced public backlash when it was disclosed by a CTF freedom of information request that the government had given $14 million in subsidies to cars that retailed for over $70,000.

“By capping and then tripling the subsidy for electric cars, the government has gone one step forward, three steps back,” continued Van Geyn. “The government seems to have a bizarre set of priorities, when they are giving subsidies to millionaires for their luxury $100,000 electric cars. Meanwhile, regular Ontario families are struggling to pay their electric bills. The backroom dealing makes this even more troubling.”

Christine Van Geyn is Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.


Posted: February 24, 2017