Question Period: 14 April 2016
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Transportation sector emission reduction

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you so much, Mr. Speaker.

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Prince Edward Island, accounting for 45% our emissions.

A question to the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy: Could the minister describe to this House what actions have been taken in recent years to reduce emissions from the transportation sector?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. member, we’re always cognizant of course of the stress that the transportation system puts on our environment and that is certainly part of our energy strategy that we are at the present time having consultations on. We’re very well aware it is an important issue and we will continue to work towards that in looking at other alternative types of vehicles, reducing our travel times.

We are looking at a number of other initiatives in regard to a new initiative we put in place in regard to our paving season coming up, how that will reduce the type of machine that we are using as a prototype. That will cut down on the amount of truck traffic that it takes as well as the amount of asphalt paving material that we have to ship in off-province.

Those are some initiatives we’re looking at, and some I can – without taking any more time I’ll wait for the supplementary (Indistinct).

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, your first supplementary.

Hybrid tax incentive

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you. Nice to be preempted. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I asked actually what actions have been taken. These are all future initiatives, and I’m glad that the department is thinking of the future, and of course we always have to do that.

But looking back a little bit, one of the government actions listed in the 2008 PEI Energy Strategy was to – it stated that there was going to be a review of the provincial hybrid tax incentive, it will be conducted and that we will expand the program and set minimum fuel economy standards. I believe our Premier actually bought his Prius under this program.

A further question to the minister: Has the provincial hybrid tax incentive been expanded?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Obviously any changes in taxes and tax incentive around programs would be in consort with the Department of Finance. As we go forward and put in new initiatives that might be attractive to Islanders to look at other types of vehicles that would all have to be something that would be explored in depth.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, your second supplementary.

Electric vehicle purchase incentive

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I can inform the House that the provincial hybrid tax incentive was not expanded. In fact, it was discontinued in 2013.

The 2016 federal budget announced an investment of $62.5 million in charging stations for electric vehicles across this country, and of course this is great, but the other half of that solution is that we need to get more hybrid and electric vehicles out on the roads.

Will this government complement the federal initiative by reinstating an incentive for the purchase of electric vehicles?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Under our transit infrastructure dollars that the federal government announced, that’s on a per capita basis of estimated ridership on Prince Edward Island. We do have an amount that we expect to come forward. It won’t amount to a lot compared to what other provinces get but, hon. member, the question you also referred to was about charging stations.

On Prince Edward Island I believe there’s about possibly close to 25. The majority of those are in the Summerside area. I want to congratulate the city of Summerside for the initiative they have taken within their city and putting in place electric cars for their services department, which are in a shorter travel rate.

Something we have explored within our own department and are discussing, hon. member, which I’m sure you’ll be interested in, every year we order about 20 school buses and we are exploring and have been looking at what is offered in Ontario and in Quebec in terms of electric buses and what would be needed to use that as a prototype project for Prince Edward Island.

We are out there looking, hon. member, at those kinds of initiatives and are very aware that it is important that we look at other initiatives that will support those kinds of projects in the future.


One Comment

  1. Bill Kays 15 April 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Good questions, crappy answers from a minister that doesn’t know the portfolio. More Liberal FLUFF from a corrupted Liberal government here on PEI. Come, stay with us, let our corruption rub off on you. Tourism will soon only be for very affluent. Is nobody looking at the economy, or does everyone have their head in the sand, waiting for someone else to offer up an alternative? We have two major issues on PEI. 1- a corrupted government, possibly an entirely corrupted system, and 2- our economy and debt. All other problems arise from these two, so why don’t we fix the two primary problems.


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