From: "Prime Minister/Premier ministre"
To: "Michael Tung"
Cc: "Gary Lunn"; "Lawrence Cannon"; "Rona Ambrose, P.C., M.P."
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 11:39 AM
Subject: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre
Dear Mr. Tung:
On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would
like to acknowledge receipt of your message regarding the reduction of
greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.
You may be assured that your comments have been carefully
reviewed. As the issue you have raised is of particular interest to the
Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Gary Lunn,
Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, I have taken the liberty of
forwarding copies of your correspondence to them. I am certain that the
Ministers will also appreciate being made aware of your views.
Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister. For more
infomation about the Government's iniatives, you may wish to visit the Prime
Minister's Web site, at www.pm.gc.ca.
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister's Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre
>>> Michael Tung 2006/06/30 11:37:10 AM >>>
How to reduce auto emission in North America?
The Kyoto accord requires
three approaches to reduce emissions. They are from the automobiles, industries,
and households. There are two methods to reduce automobile emissions. One is by
technology, which has already been done a lot. And there are still lots of
research have to be done. Ultimately we will switch to use hydrogen. There are
many countries are already competing to be the leader in this field. China will
use one thousand hydrogen powered buses during the 2008 Olympic. They said the
cost to operate hydrogen bus at this moment is already lower than using
gasoline. It will be cheaper if hydrogen is mass produced. If Canada draws out
the Kyoto accord, we shall lag behind in this technology. Many people believe
reducing emission will cost the country lots of money. They have not considered
the benefits and jobs created by it. We are not discussing technology in this
article. We are just discussing commonsense, or a better to say is to reduce the
ignorance of people. This alternative method doesn’t cost money. It is very
immediate, and effective.
There are already some traffic
programs management has been implemented by some cities. Such as:
|Enforce a minimum number of
passengers per vehicle on travelling on highway.|
|One way traffic.|
|Computer controlled traffic.|
|Radio and television report on
|Minimum speed on highway.|
|Encourage the use of public transit.|
|Encourage walking or cycling to work.|
|Set up green space in the city.|
|Make parking fee expensive to
discourage people driving in city.|
|Make taxes heavier on cars.|
The above methods are punishment
method. It doesn’t seem to work well. North American families own two or even
more cars per family are very common. We go to work with car is a style. New
developments assume you must own a vehicle before you are qualified to live in.
Double garage are standard feature. The cities of America are built for cars.
You have no way of getting around if you do not have a car. Spaghetti shaped
roads makes people looped around in a maze. Shopping is difficult without a cars
High school education would assume you would live in a society of automobiles.
Then, why don’t we think of the reason why people need automobiles?
People need that many automobiles
because of convenience. Then what make them inconvenience?
|It is too far to go to work.|
|Buildings are spread too far apart.|
|The public transit is expensive.|
|There are no direct routes to
destination, needs too many transits.|
|Takes too much time to travel.|
|Overcrowding on public transit.|
I won’t want to own two cars if I
do not have to. The auto insurance is expensive. Maintenance is costly. Fuel is
expensive. But I cannot survive if I do not own them. Then why don’t we make the
society less depending on cars?
Stop signs are a tourist feature
in North America. It was the first thing that I noticed when I arrived in North
America. A frequently totally stopping vehicle gives a very low yield on
mileage. It is absurd to see a vehicle stopping for nothing. A slow speed of say
5 miles per hour gives less emission than total stop. Most countries in the
world do not have stop sign. I cannot see it is more dangerous to walk in these
The routing system of North
America is based on a grid, and not an express system. For example, from A
Street to C Street, you might have to take a route A bus to B Street, then take
B route bus to C Street, then take C route bus to my destination. It could take
me one-hour time for a five-minute express drive.
Some cities’ routing system is
based on centralized subway system. All buses will direct to subway regardless
of where you go. If your destination is from A Street to C Street, you must ride
the bus to subway, and then transfer from subway to take the bus again, even the
distance between two places is only five minutes walk.
Public transit is losing money
because of not enough riders. Transit companies are not interested in finding a
solution to fix it. Instead, they either raise the price or advertise to get
more riders. Advertising cannot increase usage if the service does not meet the
demand. Even if transit companies want to find the solution, there are too many
regulations, laws, and exclusive rights prohibiting them from doing so.
Below is a typical example:
I live in Mississauga, Ontario. If
I want to visit a friend in Markham, Ontario and drive there with a van, it will
cost me $20.00 of gas for a round trip. If I drive with a small sedan, it will
cost me $10.00 of gas. It will take me 45 minutes per trip. If I take public
transit, it will take me three hours per trip. A round trip will take me six
hours. Almost a whole day used for travel. I have to take Mississauga bus to
subway, Then, I have take subway to Scarborough. In Scarborough, I have to take
bus to border of Markham and transit to Markham bus. It will cost me $15.50 for
a round trip. If I have a family of four, I have to pay $62.00. These two cities
are neighbouring cities. There are many people travel between these two cities
daily. Above data shows very well it is not feasible for them to use public
transit. The shortest route is to take Hwy 401 and 403 go along North of
Toronto. Markham is on North of Toronto. On taking public transit, I have to
travel on South of Toronto. It is twice the distance. Public transit companies
will violate law if they run buses between Mississauga and Markham, because
their buses cannot go beyond the closest city. On Hwy 401, there are millions of
cars travelling between these two cites daily. One bus can take 40 or more
passengers. It can eliminate 40 cars per trip on the road if there is an express
bus commuting between these two cities. It would be smarter to pay $5.00 per day
to ride public transit instead of paying $10.00 of gas if there is such a
I grew up in a populated city of
five millions. Hong Kong has a severe traffic jam problem. Not an average person
can own a car. Most people rely on public transit. I did not hear any complains
on the public transit would take them long to get destination. I hear only
praising how convenience is the public transit. It is because their public
transit system is designed on demand. If there is a demand from A Street and C
Street, then they open an express route from A to C. They are not using the
stubborn grid system.
The North American traffic fair
system is based on per ride. A short distance passenger will pay the same fair
of a long distance passenger. It discouraged a short distance passenger to use
public transit, and encourage people to live further away.
There are all kinds of
transportation vehicles in Hong Kong. They have railway, cable car, subway,
tram, bus, minibus, taxi, and illegal taxi. Tram is a double deck electric
streetcar. It is very efficient and environmental friendly. Illegal taxi is
non-licensed taxi, it helps to smoothen traffic, local authority limitedly
forbidden them. I want to emphasize the use of minibus and taxi in here. Mini
buses owners in Hong Kong are licensed small business. Their route and fair are
very flexible. If there is a crowd of people needs to clear up at certain sport,
driven by business eager, in very short while, these small business owners will
be there and clean up the crowd at reasonable price. During office hours, they
have done a very good job on doing express route which large bus companies not
interested. It is also a very common practise to share a taxi to go to work.
There is no need to book a taxi in advance. You can get partner on the street to
share the cost with ease. Taxi driver is also very willing to get partner for
you because they can get extra tipping.
The price of taxi in North America
is ridiculously high. There are lots of room to improve this business.
Monorail is a quiet, fast, space
saving, environmental, and cheap vehicle for mass transit. I do not understand
why we can find them only in Disney World?
Many airports have very little
public transit. You have limited options to access the airport.
To reduce the number of vehicles
on the street in North America is a sensible and effective way to reduce
emission. The following suggestion is an intermediate way to reduce emission.
|Give ministers a survey trips to Hong
Kong for study how they solve public transit problem.|
|Give projects to universities to
survey and design express routes according to demand.|
|Deregulate monopoly on public transit
system to allow more competition.|
|Allow bus companies to run intercity
|Adjust fair according to distance.
|License minibuses to operate.|
|License more taxi.|
|Convert stop signs to yield sign.
Yield means you have to stop only if there are people crossing.|
|Public mass transit system should be
on design prior to new development.|
|Put people closer together on city
|Allow public transit access airports.|
|Consider monorail and electrify
If citizens are satisfied with the
public transit system, the number of vehicles on the road will be reduced
naturally. If there are not enough riders, then, obviously it is a management
problem. It is not a citizen who wants to drive; it is the environments force
him to drive. There are lots of room to reduce traffic. There is no means to use
technology to overcome commonsense. But we can use both.
----- Original Message -----
From: <Minister of Transport>; <Infrastructure and Communities / Ministre des
Transports>; "de l'infrastructure et des Collectivités"
To: Michael Tung
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:03 AM
Subject: Kyoto Accord
Dear Mr. Tung:
The Prime Minister's Office has forwarded to the Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, a copy of your
correspondence of June 30, 2006, regarding the Kyoto Accord and reducing auto
emissions. The Minister has asked me to reply on his behalf.
The Minister appreciates receiving your views on this matter. Your e-mail
touched on many key issues, including sustainable transportation, active
transportation, transportation demand management, public transit route design,
public transit fare structure, public transit deregulation and vehicle
Transport Canada is committed to encouraging an environmentally sustainable
transportation system, and has undertaken numerous measures to address important
issues affecting urban transportation in Canada. I appreciating having this
opportunity to highlight some of the initiatives currently being pursued by the
department. Please note that certain programs, particularly Transport Canada's
Urban Transportation Showcase Program (UTSP) and Moving on Sustainable
Transportation (MOST), address a great number of your concerns and suggestions
regarding existing transportation issues.
The UTSP commits $40 million in funding over five years to reduce greenhouse gas
(GHG) and criteria air contaminant (CAC) emissions. This program integrates
projects that promote modal shifts to sustainable transportation options.
Showcases include transportation services, infrastructure investments, demand
management initiatives, land-use strategies, public outreach and advanced
technologies. Detailed program information is available on Transport Canada's
website at www.tc.gc.ca/utsp .
The MOST initiative provides financial support to organizations for education,
public awareness and analytical tools necessary to make sustainable
transportation a reality. For more information, please visit Transport Canada's
MOST website at www.tc.gc.ca/most, or
contact your local municipality to find out more about sustainable
transportation projects in your community.
Road network design
One of Transport Canada's goals is to help municipalities adopt integrated
transportation and land-use decision-making and planning. Transport Canada is
working with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and municipal
transportation experts to conduct a study entitled A Comparative Assessment of
the Transportation Impacts of Various Road Network and Land-use Approaches.
This study will examine the relationships between road networks and mobility
patterns. Specifically, it will assess the transportation impacts of various
road network and land-use approaches.
The MOST program includes projects that encourage the use of active
transportation (e.g. walking, cycling and skating), public transit, carpooling
and teleworking. Projects include conducting studies to improve conditions and
infrastructure for cyclists, providing opportunities through programs like the
Community Bicycle Network's BikeShare, expanding programs such as Active and
Safe Routes to School and the Walking School Bus to increase the number of
children walking to school, and training programs for cyclists to increase their
comfort and safety on roads. For more information on BikeShare, visit
The aforementioned comparative assessment also analyzes access to active
transportation options, including pedestrian and bicycle mobility. One of the
purposes of the study is to assess and compare automobile use, transit ridership
and active transportation use of each road network layout. For more information
on policy research, including the impact of transit improvements, please visit
Transport Canada's Urban Studies website at
Transportation Demand Management
Transport Canada's UTSP includes the implementation of transportation demand
management (TDM) measures. You can find out more about TDM through the UTSP
Transport Canada's MOST program includes TDM and employer programs, such as trip
reduction programs aimed at reducing single-occupant car trips; promoting
telework projects; and implementing social marketing campaigns as well as
education and awareness campaigns. To find out more about MOST, TDM and
Employer Programs, please visit the following website:
Public Transit Route Design
The Government of Canada is committed to working with stakeholders to continue
building strong communities. In Canada, public transit is a
provincial/territorial and municipal responsibility, carried out in the majority
of cases by local transit authorities and agencies. These agencies decide on,
among other things, fares, transit routing, scheduling and service levels.
The UTSP works with urban transit authorities to develop showcases that include
demand management and route design for buses, bus-rapid transit corridors and
other means to foster sustainable transportation. One example of this is the
new iXpress bus rapid transit service in the Region of Waterloo. This service
connects communities within the region with an express service that features
transit priority and real-time schedule information.
Transport Canada's MOST has worked with smaller municipalities to improve
transit design and develop more comprehensive transportation planning for
cyclists and pedestrians. Currently, MOST is providing funding to the Toronto
Environmental Alliance to conduct community roundtables aimed at improving
transit routes and service schedules in five neighbourhoods in the Greater
Public Transit Fare Structure
Canadians must be encouraged to choose public transit by making this option more
financially attractive. For this reason, Budget 2006 announced that, effective
July 1, 2006, commuters could claim a tax credit for monthly (or longer) public
transit passes. Public transit includes transit by local bus, streetcar,
subway, commuter train, commuter bus and local ferry. In addition, parents are
able to claim the tax credit on behalf of dependent children. A person who buys
an $80 pass each month will save up to $150 in taxes over the year.
In addition, Budget 2006 noted that the federal government will accelerate
investments in public transit infrastructure by making $400 million available to
provinces and territories. The government will also provide a one-time payment
of $900 million to provinces and territories to be paid into a third-party
trust, contingent on sufficient funds being available from the 2005-06 surplus
in excess of $2 billion. The Public Transit Capital Trust will support capital
investments in public transit infrastructure including rapid transit, transit
buses, intelligent transportation systems and high-occupancy vehicle and bicycle
Public transit deregulation
In Canada, public transportation is within provincial and municipal
jurisdiction. To find out more about the regulation of public transit
authorities, I would encourage you to contact the provincial authorities in your
home province of Ontario
The UTSP fosters advanced transportation technologies such as real-time
information systems, traffic signal priority measures, electronic fare
collection systems, and alternative fuel and vehicle technologies. For more
information on these technologies, please visit the UTSP Case Study Library at
Transport Canada's Advanced Technology Vehicle Program (ATVP) assesses vehicles
with advanced power trains, materials, chassis designs, emission controls, fuels
and other technologies to measure their impact on safety, energy efficiency and
the environment. For more information on this program, please visit the ATVP
Again, I appreciate being made aware of your views, and I trust that the
foregoing will be of assistance in addressing your concerns. Thank you for
writing to the federal government.
Special Assistant - Ontario
----- Original Message -----
From: Ambrose,Rona [NCR]
To: Michael Tung
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:47 AM
Subject: In response to your e-mail
Dear Mr. Tung:
The Office of the Prime Minister has forwarded me a copy of your e-mail of July
4, regarding Canada’s approach to the issue of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
I assure you that the Government is committed to addressing this important
environmental issue. To do that, we need a new approach to reducing pollution
and GHG emissions that is effective and realistic for Canada. We will develop
solutions that involve all Canadians—the provinces and territories,
stakeholders, the private sector and individuals.
In Budget 2006, the Government announced the first steps for a Made‑in‑Canada
approach. A 15.5‑percent tax credit for the purchase of monthly transit passes
took effect July 1. Up to $1.3 billion will be provided to support public
transit capital investments. I am also leading the development of options for
implementing a 5‑percent average renewable content in Canadian motor fuels. Our
government is consulting with the provinces and territories on how to move
forward with this commitment.
To build on these initiatives, I will be working with my Cabinet colleagues to
develop a plan that will have many benefits for Canadians, including: cleaner
air and water to protect the health of families and their communities;
opportunities to build a competitive and sustainable Canadian economy; energy
security; development and use of new technologies; actions at the local level;
and greater accountability to Canadians. Budget 2006 allocates $2 billion over
the next five years to the Made‑in‑Canada approach to reducing pollution and GHG
I appreciate your taking the time to share your views, and trust
that I can count on your support as we undertake this important work.
Original signed by