The Canadian government has proposed levying a tax on motorists to help pay for implementing the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The Canadian Automobile Association, which represents some 4 million vehicle owners, calculated that the tax would be roughly $1,200 per year, based on 15 cents per mile of urban driving and three cents per mile of out-of-city driving. The CAA excoriated the proposed fee, as well as other possibilities on the table that would directly affect drivers, including higher parking fees and levies on less-efficient vehicles. CAA Vice President Elly Meister said the $1,200 fee was “aimed at reducing travel, but there are no linking studies showing it will influence people’s behavior.” The various vehicle fees being considered are part of four broad options for implementing Kyoto, which has been the subject of significant and persistent tension between Ottawa and the provincial governments. The federal government expects to settle on one national plan by the fall.
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