Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has canceled its Green Rebate Program. Launched in 2008, the program offered a 20 percent rebate on their insurance and registration costs when they insured a hybrid or other qualified fuel-efficient vehicle.
In 2011, SGI said that approximately 14,000 vehicle owners received an average rebate of about $210. In 2010, approximately 10,750 people were eligible for the rebate.
In Legislature on April 23, Tim McMillan, the minister responsible for SGI, said it now makes sense for the program to end as SGI is asking for a rate increase.
“[From] SGI’s point of view, we will continue to ensure that we have cost-effective rates for the driving public, and that we’re responsible to ensure that our rates fairly represent, and that there’s an appropriate reserve in place should there be accidents, injuries,” he said. “[And] SGI will maintain a healthy balance in their stabilization fund.”
In the legislature, New Democrat MLA Danielle Chartier vocally opposed the program’s cancelation. “This policy change puts us completely out of step with other provinces. Manitoba has a $2,000 rebate for hybrid electric vehicles. BC exempts the PST [on their purchase. Ontario and Quebec give substantial rebates for hybrid purchases. Even in Alberta, even in Alberta the Wildrose Party is in favour of consumer rebates for hybrid vehicles,” she said. “We’re out of step with the direction of the country, especially with a province like ours where our people have to drive long distances to get from place to place, and actually the minister had mentioned that. Why is the Sask Party government making it harder for the middle class to make responsible, environmentally friendly choices for their families?”