Letters to the Editor

‘Old Betsy’ has run her course

I am writing in response to The Leader’s Nov. 19 article, “AirCare defenders are hoping for a reprieve.”

My obligation as a Metro Vancouver motorist should not include monetarily supporting an AirCare program that has outlived its effectiveness. If the cost of this program was borne by TransLink or the provincial government and not by the motorists of Metro Vancouver, this program would have been phased out in 2010.

The article states that as of 2010, the failure rate at AirCare was 22.3 per cent for pre-1995  vehicles and 7.4 per cent for 1995-2003 vehicles as newer vehicles are exempt. These figures only represent the percentage of the total vehicles for those years that went through AirCare. Taking these percentages and factoring them into the total vehicles in Metro Vancouver, the impact to our environment from these vehicles does not warrant the continuation of AirCare for light vehicles.

Unlike Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters, when I go to other areas without AirCare, I do not see all these vehicles with billowing smoke coming out of them, but then I am not a politician in support of the AirCare program.

Walters’ other comment on how protected the Lower Mainland is with AirCare leaves us with the impression that without AirCare we will become clouded in pollution.

Not true. The commuting motorist is creating the protection in the Lower Mainland through necessity.

We have a higher concentration of newer vehicles in the Lower Mainland than in other areas as most of us have to spend hours commuting to and from work. These newer vehicles are more reliable, and fuel and emission efficient. When you have a long commute to work every day, “Old Betsy” just won’t do.

What we do have in common with other areas is the black toxic diesel particulate belching out of big trucks. I reside along the freeway and every year I have to wash down the exterior of my home because of the black toxic particulate that is left on my house from these big trucks.

Metro Vancouver directors should quit whining about the end of AirCare for light vehicles and concentrate more of their efforts on the real culprit and a bigger threat to our environment in Metro Vancouver – heavy trucks.


Bill Sanna

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