April 1st marked the official end to Ontario's Drive Clean emissions testing program. Light-duty passenger vehicles no longer require an e-test before licensing.
The Drive Clean program was first introduced in 1999. Since then industry standards have significantly improved, resulting in a steady decrease of passenger cars that fail the emissions test. In 2017, the fail rate was reduced to five per cent.
The program was cancelled by premier Doug Ford's government as part of its pledge to save Ontario drivers a collective $40 million a year.
Ontario was the last jurisdiction in Canada to have a light-duty emissions testing program. British Columbia ended mandatory light-duty vehicle testing in 2014 because it determined that vehicles were no longer primary contributors of pollutants. The province then refocused resources on on-road heavy-duty vehicle inspection and enforcement.
Ontario has followed suit. Heavy-duty diesel vehicles that are seven years and older must pass to renew registration. Heavy-duty diesel vehicles older than the current model year also require an emissions test pass at resale to register the vehicle to the new owner.
The provincial government says its new emissions program will focus on the biggest polluting vehicles like commercial transport trucks, "with full cost recovery for government".