SGI green rebate program ends

Saskatchewan Government Insurance has cancelled its green rebate for people who drive environmentally friendly cars.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance has quietly cancelled its green rebate for people who drive environmentally friendly cars.

Under the program, owners of hybrid (gasoline/electric) vehicles, as well as owners of highly fuel-efficient vehicles on a Transport Canada list, qualified for rebates.

In the legislature on Monday, an NDP MLA asked the government why Crown-owned SGI has cancelled the program, and the government confirmed it has been ended.

The green rebate was a good program, but it has run its course, the NDP was told.

The green rebate program was launched in 2008.

People who qualified got a 20 per cent reduction on their insurance and registration. That meant SGI was looking at paying out rebates averaging $210 each to 14,000 drivers last year.

Rebate was good incentive, NDP argues

Tim McMillan, the minister responsible for SGI, says it makes sense to get rid of extra costs when SGI has been asking customers for a rate increase.

"When we do that, we take it very seriously, and we want to ensure that the costs that are coming out of that pool are meeting the needs of our driving public and those that are paying for them," McMillan said.

But NDP politicians argue that the rebate was a good incentive for people to buy "greener" vehicles.

NDP MLA Danielle Chartier said the government had spent the past four years bragging about the program, so scrapping it now makes no sense.

"We have the minister just last year saying that this is good for the economy, good for families and good for the environment," Chartier said.

"I'd ask him, 'What's changed in one year?'"