The SVAO: Dedicated to the protection and preservation of Specialty Vehicles

Newsletter March 2001

Table of Contents
Starting Over Ray Spencer - Editor
PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE (SVAO) Chris Willans - Chairman - SVAO
Just in case you hadn't heard Ian Laverly - Model A Owners Club
Expanded Drive Clean will help our air quality News Release
Drive Clean expands into second phase Media Backgrounder

Attention: (Car Club recipients) Please ensure that this newsletter is forwarded to your club editor for reprint in your club publication. Any and all content of our newsletter may be reproduced and we encourage you to do so. Text files are available by email in Word format. Call the hotline or email Ray Spencer - Editor

Starting Over
Ray Spencer - Editor

Looks like we will have to start over with our relation with the Ministry of the Environment. The new minister is Elizabeth Witmer (Kitchener - Waterloo). Along with this change with the new minister, there is a new Director of the Drive Clean Office - Ed Gill at We met with Ed Gill at our January meeting and Chris mentions the content of that meeting in his article.

Also, there is a new Minister of Transportation. He is Brad Clark (Stoney Creek), a former backbencher.

We will need to arrange to meet the ministers as it is important to establishing a good working relationship and communicate our aims and objectives. If any SVAO members within these ministers' constituencies can aid in establishing a meeting your input would be greatly appreciated. To table of contents

Chris Willans - Chairman - SVAO

Looking back on the year 2000, the hobby has had some good news from our meetings with the provincial government and some not so "common sense" ideas that need to be reviewed by those government officials involved. The good news from the emission scene is that we continue to have our rolling twenty year exemption from the Drive Clean program. In both the USA and in Europe there are ongoing attempts to include all vehicles, regardless of age, in emission testing. The SVAO is constantly monitoring Ontario's program to safe guard our exemption.

Congratulations are in order to the Ian Laverly (Ian's article follows) and the Model A Club for spear-heading the successful drive for the introduction of Year Of Manufacture plates in Ontario. The bureaucrats showed no interest in this idea in our earlier talks with them and it took some political heat to get this implemented. WELL DONE!

In a move that can only be called a blatant tax grab, your provincial government and its bureaucrats have tried to stop Joe-q-citizen from perhaps saving a few dollars on the licensing fees for a seasonally operated vehicle. From now on, those lucky few people who had a late Fall birth date, and were able to put their vehicles away for the winter months and save some licensing fees over the winter months when the vehicle was not in use will, be unable to do so. The surprise will come in the Spring when these folks go to license their vehicles and find out that they will still end up paying the fees for the months that the vehicle was off of the road.

Now the powers-that-be at Queen's Park will tell you that you can still take your ownership in to a licensing office, take the validation off it and reverse the process in the Spring (for a fee and a lot of aggravation to boot). The SVAO challenged the MTO on this issue and was told that this was the same as paying for your driving permit year round. I won't try to equally insult your intelligence by slowly going through the fact that an unlicensed vehicle cannot legally be used at anytime of year while a person can put a vehicle in storage but still operate another properly licensed vehicle with their year round diving permit.

Some goods news is that as of January 1, 2001 you can transfer plates from your special summer driver to your winter beater without having to emission test each time. The government rethought this idea at our behest and saw the light.. Now the E-test will only be needed every two years as it would have been if the plates weren't being switched.

January also saw your SVAO executive meeting with the new director of the Drive Clean Program (Ed Gill) and all present felt that it was a very positive meeting as we conveyed our aims and concerns. At this same meeting we were assured that the emission standards for testable street machines (modifieds) were going to be lightened to a little more reasonable standard.

Remember that this testing only applies to those vehicles that have not yet reached the rolling twenty year and out exemption.

What does the future look like for the Specialty Vehicle Association of Ontario? There is no doubt that the SVAO must exist to represent our hobby. There are groups and concepts that are constantly being presented to provincial and municipal governments that would have devastating consequences for our hobby. Along with all of the emission problems there are proposed programs to confiscate and destroy old cars in Europe and in various parts of the USA. You're kidding yourself if you want to believe that nobody will ever try to run these ideas up the pole here.

With all of this in mind it is time for some new people to step up and help out with the SVAO. A lot of the executive have been involved for a number of years
and many would like to lighten their work loads as most are on the executives of their own car clubs as well as having family commitments. As you look around at all of those club events, cruises and car shows that everyone goes to, it seems to usually be the same people who do the majority of the work.

Somehow too many of us have become a group of takers, not givers. It isn't just the new generation, it is my and your generation who have become part of the problem. Yes you're busy, but so is everyone else. Make the time - become involved!

The SVAO represents thousands of people through its over eighty clubs and businesses as well as a multitude of individual members. At the same time our monthly executive meetings have recently seen scant representation from the kit car people as well as those who enjoy the modified end of our hobby. We meet in Toronto so not everyone can volunteer but many of us live outside of the city and still get there.

It is all well and good to see that our quarterly newsletters get passed along to your fellow members but are you group's views being presented to all concerned? Think about it.

The annual general meeting for the SVAO will be coming up in April so watch for it in the events listing. Last year's AGM saw Minister of the Environment Dan Newman speak to our group as well as field questions from the audience. Now, when was the last chance that you had the opportunity to ask some straight forward questions of a Provincial Minister? In addition we had officials from the Ministry of
Transportation and the Ministry of the Environment there as well as a Transport Canada federal spokesperson to speak on importing automobiles.

Memberships are available at the following levels: individual ($10); club or region thereof ($25); business ($50). Have you renewed yet? If you, your club or business are not members think about lending your support. There really is strength in numbers when it comes to dealing with governments. Let's keep our hobby alive and kicking.
Remember that all this philosophy comes from a guy who drives a bath-tub Nash!
To table of contents

Just in case you hadn't heard
Ian Laverly - Model A Owners Club

Santa took a few moments out of his busy schedule on 12/20/00, to deliver us the gift we've all been waiting for.

He dropped in to Queens Park, just to be sure that MPP John O'Toole got the support that he needed, to get Bill 99 a 3rd and final reading, and passed into law.

You can read about it, by clicking on the report in Hansard right here,

Yes Gord, there really is a Santa Claus, of course Santa had a little help, in fact a lot of help.

We are very grateful for the tremendous effort, and spirit of cooperation by all parties, that made the passage of Bill 99 possible.

It all started with Gord Hazlett talking to John Parker who drafted the Bill, and then on to John O'Toole who introduced it last June.

The support that we received from the media, especially Old Autos Newspaper and the Toronto Star, was a turning point for us.

And the encouragement we received from all the various car club members, who brought their cars to Queens Park, signed petitions, and contacted their MPP's, was wonderful.

The final step was the incredible support of our MPPs, who in turn carried our message into the Legislature.

We have to thank all the MPP's who spoke on our behalf, and particularly our Transport Minister David Turnbull, without his support Bill 99 would never have gone forward so quickly to 3rd reading.

I hope now, that everyone will now take a few moments to telephone, email and write to your MPP, and say Thank You from all of us, for all their work, and their kind words on our behalf.

Without this tremendous spirit of cooperation from everyone concerned, I would not be writing to you, while I'm admiring a set of 70 year old licence plates, that just can't wait to see to their cousin, parked out in the garage.

It doesn't seem like 10 years have passed since I read a story in a collector car magazine about a California State Trooper, who restored an 1930's Highway Patrol Car, to it's original condition with lights and siren, and complete with a set of original California Licence Plates.

I don't know why I felt that the plates were such an important part of that restoration, but it really stuck with me, and I discussed it with several other car club members, and we said let's just do it.

We formed a committee in 1990, that was then, and this is now the year 2000, and we really did it.

Thank you all, and thank you Santa, Happy Holidays everyone, You did good.

And when can you get your plates registered?

From the information that I've received, it sounds like it will probably be late Spring, or early Summer, before the system for registering YOM plates is ready, if the Ministry is able to get started working on it right away.

It requires that all the necessary forms and instructions are in place, and sent to the licence offices throughout the province.

With all the legislation that was just passed, every Ministry and Department will have many new projects placed before them. It's most important that, when you call, email, and write to your MPP, to thank them for supporting Bill 99, that you tell them, how anxious you are, to register your YOM plates.

Please ask them to follow up on the progress of Bill 99, and advise you when the system is in place for YOM plate registration. Even though the legislation has been passed, the provisions of Bill 99 cannot be put into practice until all the paperwork is completed, and system is in place.

Unless the Ministry is aware of how important this is to us, this project could be put on the back-burner in favour of the other new projects, that they have just received. So please contact your MPP's, thank them for giving us Bill 99, ask them to let you know when you can register your plates. To table of contents

The following two articles were emailed to us from the Drive Clean office. We are reprinting it as received for your information.

Expanded Drive Clean will help our air quality News Release

Guelph - Ontario's Drive Clean will make a substantial contribution to reducing smog in the Guelph area as well as many other parts of southern and southwestern Ontario, according to Environment Minister Dan Newman.

Newman and Guelph-Wellington MPP Brenda Elliott today introduced the expanded program of mandatory vehicle emissions testing to the Guelph area, at an event at a local Drive Clean facility.

"In 1999, smog-causing pollutants from vehicles during the first phase of Drive Clean were reduced by 6.7 per cent," said Newman. He expects year 2000 results to continue to show a similar decline when an analysis is completed later this year.

"And this type of reduction will take place in other areas in future years, now that the program has expanded," said Newman.

Drive Clean tests became mandatory in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton-Wentworth Region as part of the vehicle registration renewal process on April 1, 1999. On January 1, 2001 the program expanded to other urban centres and their commuting zones from Peterborough to Windsor (including Guelph) and the Niagara Region.

Drive Clean is an important component of Ontario's comprehensive air quality strategy, said Newman, and the government is moving ahead on a number of fronts to address air quality.

"Vehicles are the largest local source of smog-causing pollutants. Drive Clean will help correct this problem, through vehicle emissions testing and mandatory repairs," said Newman. "Driving clean is a responsibility we all share. By meeting that responsibility, we can all make a substantial contribution to improving our environment and the quality of the air we breathe."

The urban centres and their commuting zones included in Phase 2 are: Peterborough, Barrie, Guelph, Cambridge, Brantford, Niagara Falls, Welland, St. Catharines, Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Sarnia-Clearwater-Point Edward, Windsor and Orillia.
To table of contents

Drive Clean expands into second phase Media Backgrounder

· Ontario's Drive Clean is part of the Ontario Government's comprehensive air quality strategy. Vehicles are our largest domestic source of smog-causing pollutants. Drive Clean is reducing those pollutants, through inspection and maintenance of vehicle emissions systems.

· On January 1, 2001, emissions testing became mandatory for vehicles in 13 urban centres and their commuting zones from Peterborough to Windsor and the Niagara Region. The centres are: Peterborough, Barrie, Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Brantford, Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Windsor and Sarnia-Clearwater-Point Edward.

· Nearly five million light cars, trucks and vans now require emissions tests every two years, as part of the renewal process for vehicle registration. In addition to reducing smog-causing pollutants, Drive Clean will also result in a reduction of 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, as a result of reduced fuel use from efficiently operating vehicles. This is considered the equivalent of taking 23,000 cars off the road.

· Tests are required for vehicles more than three model years old and less than 20, with even year models tested in odd calendar years and odd-year models tested in even calendar years.

· By January 19, 2001, Drive Clean had tested 2.25 million vehicles and identified approximately 325,000 that failed emissions standards. Repairs to these vehicles result in reductions in smog-causing pollutants. By the end of the year 2000, there were about 1,400 accredited light-duty Drive Clean Facilities in the Drive Clean program area, with additional facilities being accredited daily.

· Drive Clean has also implemented annual testing for heavy-duty trucks and buses that are more than three model years old. Diesel-powered vehicles registered anywhere in Ontario must be tested as well as non-diesel heavy-duty vehicles in the same program area as light-duty vehicles.

More detail on Drive Clean is available at or the Drive Clean Call Centre, at 1-888-758-2999 (toll-free). To table of contents


| HomeNewsletter | History | Links | Members | Join |