Canada to exchange bikes for old cars

Environment Canada and the Clean Air foundation announced a new National Vehicle Scrappage program today, offering incentives — including bicycles — to people who scrap their 1995 or older motor vehicles.

“We know Canadians want to do their part to help clean up the air we breathe and our Government shares their desire,” said Minister Baird. “That’s why we are launching a national program to get Canadian’s smog-causing gas-guzzlers off the road. This investment, combined with our Turning the Corner plan to cut air pollution from industry by up to 50 per cent, is what Canadians want and what we are delivering.”

This program will be fully operating by January 2009, and will encourage people to scrap their gas-guzzling vehicles and to turn to environmentally-friendly transportation. The incentives include:

  • Public transit passes;
  • Bicycles;
  • a rebate on the purchase of a new car;
  • Membership in a car-sharing program; or
  • $300 cash.

For more details, see:

More also at Vehicle Scrappage program site, though it doesn’t seem to be up just yet.

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0 thoughts on “Canada to exchange bikes for old cars”

  1. aidan says:

    That is a shock to this Canadian! However, don’t expect it to amount to much. The Conservative government (‘Conservative’ is a name, like ‘Republican’, just more honest) has a notorious environmental reputation, as does that particular ministerial tool, Baird.

    As background, the Conservative power-base, and swing vote, is in Alberta (like Nebraska) which is a resource-province: ever hear of the tar-sands? That’s where they are. This policy is total green-washing, and will do a lot less good than ending subsidies to, much less shutting down, the tar-sands.

    The federal gov’t is so sad that the two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have done an end-run: announced their own carbon-sharing agreement.

  2. Matth says:

    This could be nice. But I highly doubt they will publicize it much. Further more the deal is totally on the sketchy side.

    Car Heaven was largely funded by General Motors and Imperial Oil, and it offered $750 toward a new GM vehicle to drivers who sent their cars and trucks to the scrapyard.

    Even the name of the program, Car Heaven, is sketchy. It wreaks of, lobbied, Conservative public image propaganda. Or maybe that’s GM’s way of saying thank you to government for ditching Kyoto.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hey now, my 1995 Toyota Corolla gets over 30 mpg…I think that’s waaaay better than some of the crap they are selling these days — even brand new Corollas are only ranked at 35 mpg highway.

    At any rate, I don’t think I’d scrap it for only $300 since I have easy access to public transport and bike trails as it is.

  4. cafn8 says:

    In light of previous comments, it seems more like an “economic stimulus”, intended to spur new car sales, than an actual benefit for the environment. My cynical side tells me that the bike, bus pass and cash options are probably all low enough benefit that they pale in comparison to the new car benefit.

    I’d be curious to see a comparison of the pollution and energy consumption caused by driving an older car, like Sarah’s 30 MPG Toyota for a few more years vs. the pollution and energy consumption caused by the manufacture of a new car plus the disposal of an old car. Alas, I’ve had only one cup of coffee so far and just can’t seem to get motivated to look into it.

  5. Kim says:

    Do you think if I scrap my old 1994 Kia Sephia here in South Korea that my gov’t will get me a new bike when I go home in August? Maybe? Please?

  6. matthew booth says:

    I’d by a piece of junk car for $150, turn it back in for a new bike or $300 dollars. Although I’m sure they will have some sort of guard against that (like you have to own the car for more than a year). Besides I’m American so I don’t have that offer.

    And BTW to all the comments about conservatives, I’m a conservative (although I like Republicans less than I use to). Maybe Washington D.C. conservatives fit the mold and stereotype you created, but my wife and I both fall outside the mold. I’d appreciate a little more thought when you write politically polarizing comments.

    The point of this blog is about bike commuting which all share an interest in.

    I won’t stereotype if you don’t.

  7. Fritz says:

    I generally self-identify as “conservative” in many respects, also, FWIW.

  8. MichaelB says:

    The story is about Canada, where the Prime Minister is a member of the Conservative Party. You will notice that the comments about “conservatives” are actually about “Conservatives” with a capital ‘C’. It’s highly unlikely that any of the comments are about stereotypes of “Washington D.C. conservatives” as those people are probably not members of the Canadian Conservative Party.

  9. aidan says:

    Thanks MichaelB. Glad to know someone else realises there is a world outside of the US borders you aren’t currently bombing. Actually most Canadians feel safer the less sure you are of our geography.

  10. matthew booth says:

    You are right I didn’t realize the difference until i read about it online.

    Aidan – I’ll refrain from responding about your smattering regarding the US.

    If you read all of my previous comment you’d realize I was saying its ridiculous to talk about politics at all on a bike commuting website.

  11. MichaelB says:

    “its ridiculous to talk about politics at all on a bike commuting website”

    At the risk of appearing argumentative, I must admit that I couldn’t disagree more. To me, there is something inherently political about choosing a bicycle over an automobile. Perhaps not partisan politics, but whether we choose to ride for economic, environmental, or health reasons, we are using public roadways and pathways, sharing the roads with vehicles, and taking ourselves to a certain extent, out of the cycle of fossil fuels and foreign wars.

    Whenever we commute by bicycle, we’re taking our mobility into our own hands, instead of purchasing it from the car company, the oil company, the oil cartel, and foreign dictator.
    The politics of cycling cannot be easily classified as liberal/conservative, but the simple act of choosing to ride instead of drive has a profound political, economic, environmental, and social impact.

    I think that we’re used to seeing politics as an argument rather than a conversation, but I think that those of us who chose to ride, regardless of our ideologies, are, intentionally or not, making a profound political statement that transcends party, ideology, and nation, and a little at a time, makes the world a better place.

  12. matthew booth says:

    Point well taken and on target MichaelB.

    I had never thought of it that way.

  13. justin says:

    Ha haha 300 bucks and a bike eh.

    Well I just bought a new 2008 Ford Ranger 4X2 3.0 L.

    Got a 60 some L gas tank and im lucky to get 400 km to a tank

    My 1992 Civic burns about a 1/3 of what my ranger burns. My civic alone is worth more than the bike and 300 dollars unless they gonna give me a scott bike. If they give me a scott bike or a kona etc, then ill scrap my car that is currently listed on ebay (1992 Red Civic located in Ontario, check it out on ebay motors . ca)

    If I didnt sign financing for the truck I would keep the civic and sell the truck, but I needed a truck. And the gas prices right now sure dont help.

    Anyways im off. Working building some hondas tomorrow. Buy a Honda, they really good on gas. Keeps me in a job too.

  14. JiMCi says:

    The Canadian Gov’t argument is that pre-1996 cars pollute way much than more recent vehicles; it has nothing to do with mpg. According to the program website, “A twelve year old vehicle produces 19 times more smog-forming emissions than a 2004 or newer model”.

    The problem is not with the program, it is with the overall Government policies. The do not want to abide to the Kyoto Protocol goals. Instead of reducing the overall smog-forming emissions levels, they want to reduce the intensity of emissions. This is intended to please the tar-sands oil extraction industry, which accounts for a substantial part of the pollution produced in Canada and is located in a Conservative’s (aka Tory) party stronghold. Extraction of petroleum from tar sands will soon produce twice as much pollution than all canadian motor vehicles combined.

    (Reducing the overall emissions means that an industry must reduce it’s total emissions, whatever the level of production. Reducing the intensity means reducing the emissions per unit of production. Companies in the oilsands business are happy, because they can reduce the pollution per barrel produced by 20%, increase production five times and still meet the Gov’t goals. Environmentalists are not happy because when you do the maths, this increase in production equals an increase of 400% of smog-forming emissions…)

  15. Alex says:

    Wow, I hadn’t heard about this. Sounds like an excellent idea… makes me a little bit more proud to be Canadian (it’s been hard with the conservative government destroying everything good about the country). Thanks for posting this ray of hope!

  16. baby steps says:

    i came here looking for a better option, u must have to. who knows where the real insentive came from for this, who cares. this proves that we want to change, that we don’t want to continue to be a virus on the earth, killing it off slowly, in turn killing ourselves. i wonder what u would say about humanure, composting our own waste……….. only when we realize this is a far as we have to go, will we make a real change.

  17. yes this should be everywhere for all drivers while driving ,don’t use the mobile devices which can try to break your concertration from road.

    car parts accessories

    ‘best wishes’

  18. Iffath Kabir says:

    scrapping old cars
    We pay top cash for junk cars,and do free scrap car removal, junk car removal, junk car towing, and cash 4 car service in Vancouver.plz visit www dot You can call us at: 778-888-7199.

  19. Fox Toyota says:

    Wow, this is a great idea. I wish we had some ideas like this down in the US to get rid of old cars. Because especially here in TN there are too many cars just sitting around rusting and not doing anyone any good for it.

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