Ontario Government Taking Action to Protect Ontario’s Air Quality 

Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction


Ontario’s government is taking action to protect Ontario’s air quality and reduce smog-causing pollutants with a new enhanced emissions testing program that will save taxpayers’ money and modernize services to make life more convenient for drivers and businesses while ensuring the safety of our roads and the protection of our environment.

The new enhanced emissions testing program is for the biggest polluters on our roads such as commercial trucks and buses. To improve convenience for businesses and help reduce costs, the new program will be integrated with the existing annual safety Motor Vehicle Inspection Station program in 2021 to create a one-stop-shop.  

Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation, and Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, were at Carmen Transportation in North York today to announce the proposed program changes.   

“Today, we are following through on our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commitment to hold the biggest polluters on our roads accountable with an enhanced emissions testing program for commercial trucks and buses,” said Minister Yurek. “Reducing emissions from heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles is one more step in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to hold polluters accountable while ensuring Ontario businesses remain competitive.”

We are proposing changes that will:

  • Strengthen emission testing standards for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles
  • Clarify existing laws against tampering with vehicle emission systems
  • Make it illegal to sell devices that interfere with or disable emissions control systems
  • Enable stronger on-road enforcement of emission standards for both light and heavy vehicles

Integrating the new enhanced emissions program for heavy diesel commercial vehicles with the annual safety inspection program means owners of these types of vehicles would be able to get both an emissions and safety inspection at the same time and location — one test, with one digital result.

“By combining the emissions and safety inspection into one digital-based test, we are making life easier and more convenient for owners of heavy-duty diesel commercial trucks and buses,” said Associate Minister Surma. “The Ontario government is working to keep our roads safe and environment clean while saving taxpayers time and money as we make government services more effective and convenient as part of our plan to grow Ontario’s economy.”

“Our professional truck drivers are hard at work taking made-in-Ontario goods to markets across Canada and beyond,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister responsible for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Combining safety and emissions inspections into a one-test, the one-result process will save our professional truckers time and money, while keeping them on the road so they can continue to keep Ontario moving.”

“The government of Ontario is introducing the most impactful enforcement measures in Canada with regards to reducing and targeting harmful emissions from non-compliant vehicles,” said Stephen Laskowski, President of the Ontario Trucking Association. “By introducing an on-road enforcement regime focused on tampering, along with the development of an integrated annual safety and environmental inspection program for heavy trucks, the province of Ontario is leading on the reduction of smog-causing pollution and reducing unnecessary red tape for all trucking companies in Ontario.”

Quick Facts

  • Heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles (e.g., transport trucks over 4,500 kg) remain a significant source of smog-forming pollutants.
  • Between 2014 and 2018, 47 percent of heavy vehicle emissions violations in Ontario included a violation of tampering with a vehicle’s emission system. 
  • Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Inspection Station program inspects motor vehicles, such as trucks and trailers, cars, buses and motorcycles to ensure vehicles meet a minimum safety standard.
  • The government consulted on enhancements to the emissions testing program for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles from September 28 to October 28, 2018, on the Environmental Registry and received over 200 comments.



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