...that Andrew Coyne is going to be all over this finding like a fat kid stalking a Smartie.
I like government rebates. I take advantage of them whenever I can. Though I'm pissed I did my major renovation last year. I do believe, that properly implemented, they can encourage or reward desired behavior.
The hybrid car rebate is failing, because hybrids aren't that fuel efficient in comparison. This is a point I've made (as here as Closet Liberal) before. Go Me!
The CBC article has the same point:
"People are choosing hybrids over similarly priced small- and medium-sized conventional cars, which are not far behind hybrids for fuel efficiency and emissions," Chandra said. "The reductions in carbon emissions are therefore not great."
If emissions are the issue, then we need to focus on developing and encouraging the use of Zero emission vehicles. Since we are constantly adding vehicles to our roads, (and with rebates we are encouraging this trend), encouraging cars that reduce emissions by 5-8% isn't going to reduce overall emissions. Emissions growth would just be slower than before. As we are constantly being told, that isn't good enough.
The caveat being, if we have indeed already passed (or are about to pass) the climate change tipping point, then we might as well subsidize 12 Cylinder SUVs for all the effect rebates will do. That is if you'd rather go out with a bang.
For now, I'd rather we keep fighting to stave off that conclusion.