Saskatchewan motorists who drive environmentally friendly vehicles will no longer be receiving a provincial rebate.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has cancelled the break on auto insurance for hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles, first launched in 2008.
SGI’s decision attracted some criticism from the Saskatchewan NDP, which argued in the provincial legislative assembly the program provided incentive to purchase “greener” vehicles.
“The program was immensely popular, helping thousands of people save a little bit of money on their premiums for driving an environmentally friendly vehicle,” New Democrat MLA Danielle Chartier said in the legislature on Monday.
The number of people receiving rebates has grown each year, reaching approximately 14,000 people in 2011, Chartier reported.
Tim McMillan, minister responsible for SGI, pointed out those vehicles are still in use. “I would expect that the people who are driving them today will, when they purchase their next car, may make the same decision,” he said.
There will also be a benefit to the environment “for this year and for many years to come as those vehicles stay in rotation,” he added.
Noting that Saskatchewan’s driving public is facing a slight rate increase, “we need to ensure that we have the appropriate spending,” McMillan said. “We’re responsible to ensure that our rates fairly represent, and that there’s an appropriate reserve in place should there be accidents, injuries.”