Retrofit programs show more inadequacies

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about some serious concerns that were raised in the Toronto Star about the efficiency of the ecoEnergy Retrofit Program.
    I am very pleased to report that EcoSuperior in Thunder Bay continues to provide an expert auditor with extensive experience (he has conducted more than 700 audits to date).
    Both pre- and post-renovation audit services are available through EcoSuperior for Thunder Bay-area home owners who are looking to improve their energy efficiency.
    We are fortunate to have such excellent services available in Thunder Bay, and I continue to be hopeful that Fort Frances, Atikokan, and Rainy River soon will have similar providers.
    Regrettably, the ecoEnergy Retrofit Program itself continues to be of serious concern due to the lack of financial support for audit services, the cancellation of the retrofit program for low-income residents, and the changes made to auditor requirements.
    In a similar vein, my office has received many calls from constituents seeking information on how to collect the rebate promised in the March federal budget for those purchasing or leasing new fuel efficient vehicles.
    Passenger vehicles whose fuel efficiency is 6.5 litres per 100 km or better, and certain other vehicles that are the most fuel-efficient in their class, immediately qualified for a rebate of up to $2,000.
    However, the process to file for the rebate program still has not been announced and not a single rebate cheque has been issued to date.
    In checking the Transport Canada website (www.tc.gc.ca), we are advised:
    “The rebate program will be put in place in the coming months. In the meantime, we ask consumers to keep a copy of their proof of purchase or a copy of the long-term lease agreement (12 months or longer) of the eligible vehicles listed on this website.”
    The delay in implementing this rebate program is further proof of the lack of real and tangible actions by this government to reduce carbon emissions. It is just one more example of the ongoing foot-dragging by the Conservatives where environmental issues are involved.
    Despite these obstructionist efforts, I will continue to work with my Parliamentary colleagues to advance the fight against climate change.

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