Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the
Environment and Natural Resources
Issue 6 - Evidence
OTTAWA, Tuesday, February 4, 1997
The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, The Environment and Natural Resources
met this day at 3:30 p.m. to continue its consideration of Bill C-29, to
regulate interprovincial trade in and the importation for commercial purposes
of certain manganese-based substances.
Senator Ron Ghitter (Chairman) in the Chair.
The Chairman: We welcome our panel. Please proceed.
Mr. Yves Landry, President, CEO, Chrysler Canada Limited: Mr. Chairman, thank
you for inviting us to come here to share our views on Bill C-29.
As you are well aware, this issue is critical for our industry in order to meet
our environmental obligations to consumers and regulators alike. We have
therefore assembled a strong team who we trust can answer any of your questions
and so allow you to exercise your role of sober, second thought and still
proceed to quickly pass Bill C-29.
For information purposes, we have distributed to you the brochure prepared by
the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association. I know that you are all quite
familiar with the automobile industry. What many people tend to forget is that
it is directly or indirectly responsible for one job in seven in Canada and
that three major automobiles manufacturers alone have invested more than 10
billion dollars in Canada over the past five years.
I am here today wearing two hats, as President of the Canadian Vehicle
Manufacturers Association also as the Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler
Canada. I am accompanied by Mark Hutchins, Chief Executive Officer of Ford
Canada, Ms. Maureen Kempston-Darkes, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors
Canada and Mr. Mark Nantais, President of the Canadian Vehicles Manufacturers'
Association of Canada.
Although we are quite confident that we can refer any detailed technical or
regulatory questions to Mr. Nantais, we have also brought with us today senior
members of our engineering staffs.
Mr. Chairman, let me be clear about the central point of this debate.
Elimination of MMT from fuel is part of an international technical consensus on
the best approach to reduce emissions from the vehicle system. It is not a
brand new, made-in-Canada initiative. It is a significant technical problem for
all auto manufacturers around the world.
We have all come to this conclusion independently of one another and this in
Stuttgart, Germany, in Toyoto City, Japan and in Detroit, U.S.A.
Canada is the centre of this issue.
North America has the toughest emission control standards in the world. In
response, we have developed excellent emission control systems. These systems,
however, are predicated upon the availability of MMT-free fuel, which is the
norm in the U.S. and which we were assured by the Canadian government would be
made available here.
Alternatives to MMT are available internationally. In the U.S. for example, ETBE
and MTBE, are already available and other ready available alternatives are
I would also like to mention that this is not a new issue for us. On the
contrary, MMT gasoline has been a cause of concern for us since it was
developed some 20 years ago and adopted as an alternative in order to increase
octane levels in unleaded gasoline.
In 1985, Environment Canada ordered an independent study to determine the impact
of MMT on vehicle emissions. The study was conducted by a multi-party working
group representing the petroleum and automobile industries, the government and
the Ethyl company, under the direction of the Committee on Standardization of
Forms of the Canadian General Standards Board. The study ended in 1986.
The main finding of the study was to recognize that MMT increased exhaust
emissions of hydrocarbons. As a direct consequence of this finding, since 1986
Transport Canada has been monitoring standards on exhaust systems of new
vehicles through vehicles using MMT-free fuel.
At first, we were particularly concerned about the clogging up of spark plugs
and plugging of catalysts. However, since the development of the second
generation of diagnostic computers, better known as the OBD system, we have
seen the emergence of more serious technical problems
MMT in fuel will prevent us from meeting current B.C. emission standards and
Transport Canada's proposed 1998 vehicle emission regulations, which were
predicated on the availability of MMT-free fuel.
MMT in fuel will cost consumers significantly for unnecessary repairs. MMT in
fuel will irritate consumers with activated warning lights and unnecessary,
time-consuming diagnostics. Lastly, MMT in fuel will worsen air quality in
Ladies and gentlemen, my colleagues from Ford of Canada, General Motors of
Canada, and all other manufacturers around the world agree with this assessment
of the situation.
I would also like to outline Chrysler's own situation. The 1997-model Chrysler
vehicles were shipped with the OBD-II emission control system which is
vulnerable to MMT and subject to aggravate our customers. Warnings about the
use of fuel containing MMT are included in our 1997 owners' handbooks. It is
likely that we will be forced to remove the advanced emission control systems
from 1998 cars if Bill C-29 is not passed promptly. We will have to make that
We have already cancelled the introduction of Canada's first lower emission
vehicle, the Green Neon, despite the fact that we had announced in 1995 that
this car would be available in B.C. and elsewhere in Canada starting in 1997.
I will now hand over to my colleagues Mr. Mark Hutchins and Ms Maureen Darkes
who will clearly outline the impacts of not passing Bill C-29 promptly on both
the industry in general and their companies in particular. We will then hand
over to Mr. Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers
Association, who will briefly review the technical aspects of the impact of MMT
on our systems.
Mr. Mark Hutchins, President, Ford Motor Company of Canada: For the record, my
name is Mark Hutchins, I am president and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada.
I very much appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today about Bill C-29.
It is a subject of critical importance to Ford, our dealers and, most
importantly, our customers.
I it will not come as a surprise to some of you present today when I tell you
that Ford of Canada is not solely in the business of manufacturing and selling
cars and trucks. Even though we did assemble over 500,000 vehicles and sold
over 270,000 cars and trucks to Canadian consumers last year.
Put simply, we as a company recognize we are truly in the business of providing
customer satisfaction. A successful automotive company in 1995 is one which
accurately determines what the customer wants and provides it in the most
cost-effective and efficient manner.
Today's customers both in Canada and around the world, where we expert our
products, are demanding high quality, technologically sophisticated vehicles
which perform to the highest standards and do so in the most environmentally
To meet the needs of consumers, today's vehicles are equipped with the most
technologically sophisticated environmental safeguard equipment. The heart of
this equipment is the OBD-II, which is our on-board diagnostics systems second
generation. It is a fully integrated emissions control system. This was the
product of development efforts by Ford dating back to the mid-1980s at a cost of
several hundred million dollars.
In addition, as you will hear today, other automotive manufacturers have
developed their own systems over a similar period of time. The cars and light
trucks which we sell today are equipped with the latest vehicle emissions
equipment and remove 98 per cent of hydrocarbons, 96 per cent of carbon
monoxide and over 90 per cent of oxides of nitrogen from the vehicles' exhaust.
Canadian consumers who purchase and drive these new vehicles do so knowing that
emissions from these vehicles are greatly reduced from the levels of only a few
short years ago.
This level of environment success, however, will be available to Canadian
consumers only if Canadian fuels are MMT-free. The gasoline additive MMT has an
extremely negative effect on today's vehicle emissions systems. Vehicles using
MMT fuel have significant amounts of manganese deposits on critical components
in their system including spark plugs, oxygen sensors and catalytic converters.
Degradation of these components leaves to inefficient engine and catalyst
performance and increased emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere.
The critical emissions hardware, standard on all vehicles produced today, will
not perform as intended when fuels with MMT are used. Canadian consumers, who
are demanding more environmentally efficient vehicles and paying for the latest
in environmental equipment are being denied the benefits of this technology
because of the use of the MMT additive in their fuels.
To make matters worse, not only are Canadian consumers denied the benefits of
this environmental equipment, there is an increased likelihood they also face
increased vehicle operational costs because of in-vehicle damage caused by MMT.
Through no fault of theirs or Ford's, our customers are subjected to degraded
levels of vehicle performance and unnecessary expenses because of the
non-availability of the proper fuel for their vehicles.
Each of our customers purchased his or her vehicle in good faith with the
understanding that they were getting the best federal vehicle emissions system
in North America. Now and as the years go by, they will become increasingly
disappointed when they discover that MMT-free fuel, as specified in their
owners manual, is not available in Canada.
There is no shortage of data on the impact of MMT on automobiles. As my
colleague from Chrysler has already stated, automobile manufacturers around the
world, including Ford, have independently designed their own emissions and
OBD-II systems and have determined that MMT is detrimental to the effective
operation of these systems and to vehicle performance.
There has been no shortage of discussion on this issues. As early as 1984, a
series of discussions with and submissions to government outline the actual and
future difficulties with MMT. The government and the oil industry were informed
in advance that MMT would damage the new emission systems being developed to
meet increasingly tough emissions standards.
The oil industry itself recognized this fact in its 1984 submission to
government, a copy of which was provided to you.
The government began actively to address this issue by passing Bill C-29 and
conveying this bill to the Senate for approval. The Senate now has the
opportunity to do the right thing for the environment and consumers across
Canada. It can quickly pass Bill C-29.
The issue has become critical to Ford in a very practical way. On February 13,
1997, Ford of Canada will introduce to the public the new 1998 model year Ford
Windstar, built for the world by the 3500 men and women at our assembly plant
in Oakville, Ontario.
The Windstar will be the first 1998 model year product introduced in Canada but
because of the non-availability of MMT-free fuels, this Canadian-made vehicle
can meet neither the proposed Canadian federal emissions standards nor the
provincial standard set in British Columbia. In fact, without MMT-free fuel,
over time no vehicles in Canada will meet the 1998 emissions standard. Because
over 85 per cent of the Windstars we produce are exported for sale to the United
States, every Windstar leaves our Oakville assembly plant with a full tank of
MMT-free gasoline. Do you know who sells this gasoline to us? A Canadian fuel
company. However, unlike 1998 Windstars shipped to consumers in the U.S., for
those that are sold to our Canadian owners, that will being their last tank of
MMT-free fuel unless Bill C-29 is passed. It is ironic, but more importantly it
is downright unfair to our Canadian consumers.
Think about it. Twenty vehicle manufacturers that sell vehicles in Canada each
independently and confidentially designed their own vehicle emissions and
OBD-II systems, and they are all telling you the same thing: They are
experiencing MMT-related systems degradation and failures. There is no more
telling evidence than that or we would not be here.
I strongly urge you to do the right thing for Canada and pass Bill C-29 now.
In summary, the use of MMT in Canadian fuels leads to shortened lives for
vehicle emissions systems, added vehicle operational expense and negative
impacts for the environment. The additional fuel costs when MMT is removed, as
shown by both government and private studies, is projected at less than a
quarter cent per litre, or around $5 per year for the average motorist, assuming
that the oil companies pass this cost on to Canadian consumers. This is a very
small price to pay, particularly when it is balanced against the very large
expenditure already made by Canadian consumers for the latest in on-board
vehicle emissions equipment. New vehicle buyers in Canada pay over $2 billion
per year in total for emissions equipment in their cars and trucks. This very
considerable cost to consumers alone makes any potential fuel or refinery cost
increases pale by comparison. Ford of Canada, along with the rest of Canada's
automotive industry, has done its part to produce vehicles with the latest in
environmental safeguards. Now it is up to the Senate to ensure Canadians have
MMT-free fuel so we can move forward toward a cleaner environment in Canada.
Thank you. I will turn this over to Maureen Darkes.
Ms Maureen K. Darkes, President, General Motors of Canada Limited: For the
record, my name is Maureen Kempston Darkes. I am President and General Manager
of General Motors of Canada.
Our company and all automobile companies in Canada have had great success in
substantially reducing vehicle emissions since the 1970s. As Mr. Hutchins
pointed out, the three regulated emissions -- hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and
oxides of nitrogen -- have been reduced by 98, 96 and 90 per cent respectively
on all new cars. As newer, cleaner vehicles replace older ones, these emissions
will continue to decline. We are committed to achieving further reductions but
we are constrained by the presence of MMT in Canadian gasoline. This is the
reason we are before you today.
On-Board Diagnostics-II system, or OBD-II, is a state-of-the-art
second-generation diagnostics technology which monitors the engine and
emissions-control system and alerts the driver to malfunctions through a
warning light on the dash board. These systems are an important component of
our emission-control strategy, because data show that a small proportion of
vehicles on the road are what we term "gross emitters." They have
been tampered with, improperly serviced, misfuelled, or some element of the
emission-control system is not functioning properly. We estimate that these
vehicles represent less than one-quarter of the vehicle miles travelled today
but produce as much as two-thirds of total emissions. OBD-II systems are
designed to identify emission increases of very small magnitude on new cars.
Across the entire fleet, this significantly reduces real-world emissions.
When Canadian oil companies collectively declined to make available MMT-free
gasoline to Canadian motorists voluntarily, we at General Motors were left with
no alternative but to modify portions of the OBD-II systems so our customers
would not be exposed to the nuisance and annoyance of warning lights coming on
as a result of manganese deposits in the engine from MMT in gasoline. We were
concerned that not only would this create an immediate inconvenience but in the
long term it would reduce driver confidence in vehicle on-board diagnostics as
an important feature of their emission-control system.
This was expected to be a temporary measure until MMT-free gasoline was made
available to Canadian motorists. General Motors engineers have been concerned
for many years about the impact of manganese deposits on combustion chambers
and vehicle emission-control equipment. As far back as 1988, Transport Canada
acknowledged the negative impact of MMT on emission control equipment by
sanctioning mileage accumulation for certification testing to be done on fuels
that were MMT-free. Even Ethyl Corporation agrees that 80 per cent of manganese
in MMT deposits and accumulates in the power train of our automobiles. For
every 160,000 kilometres travelled, as much as a half pound of manganese
accumulates in the engine and related components of the vehicle. This has a
direct impact on the functioning of the OBD-II system.
General Motors data, some of which we have shared with representatives of all
major Canadian petroleum companies, indicate that our customers are already
experiencing power-train and emission-control-systems failures at a rate many
times greater than in the United States where MMT is not in use. This warranty
data is in direct contradiction to Ethyl's data from their test programs which
claimed real-world problems would not occur. We also have conclusive test and
laboratory data showing that MMT is the sole factor contributing to rapid spark
Senators, I should like permission to hand out some pictures of spark plugs that
are in use in vehicles in the United States and vehicles in Canada. You will
see that spark plugs in use in the United States, travelling very long
distances, continue to operate as designed. On the other hand, you will see that
spark plugs in use in Canada, where MMT is present in the gasoline, begin to
fail at very low kilometre ratings.
Accumulation of manganese on spark plugs causes misfires which in turn leads to
increased emissions of unburned hydrocarbon from the engine and carbon
monoxide. At the same time, the catalyst, a key emissions-control device, is
degraded from the exposure to raw fuel.
In addition, manganese deposits on the catalyst impede its ability to control
emissions, leading to higher levels of hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and oxides
of nitrogen emissions. The net effect is that much of the improvement made
through advanced automobile design is lost. Degradation in performance can
happen as early as several thousand kilometres and worsens over time depending
on the amount of MMT in the fuel that the customer buys.
Increasingly, our customers are demanding low-maintenance or maintenance-free
vehicles. For this reason, and to ensure optimal emission performance, GM and
most of the auto industry are introducing long-life spark plugs which require
spark plugs to be changed only every 100,000 miles or 160,000 kilometres.
However, these spark plugs, like their predecessors, are susceptible to the
long-term build-up of manganese deposits. We find it a major customer
dissatisfier when a customer requires new spark plugs because of the MMT
build-ups before the scheduled useful life is over. This is not a problem
General Motors is experiencing in the United States where MMT continues to be
banned in air-quality problem areas such as California and the east, and where
18 major oil companies, including the parent companies of some of the biggest
opponents of Bill C-29 have voluntarily agreed to provide their customers with
MMT-free fuel. Clearly, in the U.S. there is a recognition that fuel quality is
part of the air quality solution.
We have advised federal and provincial environment ministers that we propose to
offer our Canadian customers the same state-of-the-art emissions control
systems as our U.S. customers on a harmonized basis. This allows Canadians to
get the maximum air quality benefit at the lowest cost. However, to be able to
do so, we need to be sure that additives in gasoline do not foul sophisticated
automotive equipment. For example, Transport Canada has proposed in-use
emissions standards for 1988 model year vehicles similar to the U.S., which are
designed to ensure that vehicles are not only low emission when they leave our
factories but also that they stay that way for most of their average useful
life. We would like to be able to support these standards because they would
result in cleaner air for Canadians, but because of the extent to which MMT
degrades the performance of our power train and emission control system,
General Motors cannot do so until MMT is out of Canadian gasoline.
The delays in the passage of Bill C-29 are putting us and our customers at
serious risk in British Columbia, where the government has mandated the
standards which we voluntarily offered to achieve right across Canada. While
Chevron is voluntarily making MMT-free fuel available in B.C., to date the
other oil companies will not. The government of B.C., our dealers in that
province, our customers and the automakers are all counting on prompt passage
of Bill C-29 to ensure that we can comply with the B.C. legislation.
General Motors will be bringing its first 1998 models to market in the spring.
We are confident that if Bill C-29 is passed quickly, the oil industry will be
able to comply quite quickly. For example, some refiners such as Irving already
produce MMT-free fuel for the U.S. market. Others such as Imperial Oil already
provide millions of litres of MMT-free fuel to all our assembly plants in
Ontario and Quebec for plant fill purposes.
We are proud of the enormous strides we have made in reducing emissions from our
products and processes. We have spent billions of dollars over the past 20
years developing engines that are more fuel efficient and produce fewer
emissions, and we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in Canada alone
reducing emissions from our manufacturing facilities. We have done so because we
are committed to being part of the solution to Canada's environmental problems.
All we ask is that our customers can buy the necessary cleaner fuel
formulations to properly operate their vehicles.
Bill C-29 will ensure MMT-free fuel is available to customers so that Canadians
receive the full value of their investment in a new vehicle and the maximum air
quality benefits. I ask for your support for cleaner air in Canada by passing
Bill C-29 immediately.
I should now like to turn it over to Mark Nantais, who will conclude our
presentation with some comments on the way in which MMT affects emissions
Mr. Mark Nantais, President, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association: Our
association represents Chrysler Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada and
General Motors of Canada, as well as Volvo Canada, Navistar International
Corporation, Freightliner of Canada and Western Star Trucks.
We focus on issues of common members, and MMT has been on the top of our list
for quite some time. I should like to spend a few minutes providing you with
specific information on what MMT does to automobile components and to show you
a variety of photographs and samples of such automobile parts that have been
collected for you.
As was noted in Mr. Hutchins' comments, there is no shortage of information on
the effects of MMT on automobile components. I believe committee members have
already received a package of information along this line, which clearly shows
you that quite a bit of information that exists. Hopefully, everyone has
Amongst that information are 25 technical papers prepared by the Society of
Automobile Engineers. These span the years from 1975 to 1994 and have been
prepared by engineers from independent research companies, automotive
engineers, as well Ethyl Corporation. As you will note from the summaries that
have been provided with the papers, a large majority demonstrate that MMT
damages automobile emission control systems. Interestingly, the only papers
which claim any beneficial effects of MMT were prepared by Ethyl Corporation
itself. Even so, four out of seven of Ethyl's own papers made reference to some
evidence of problems in areas like catalyst plugging, increased emissions and
increased particulates due to MMT.
In addition, we have included reports from the University of Waterloo, which
conducted an analysis of documentation provided by Ethyl Corporation and which
casts doubt on both the methodology and conclusions of procedures that have
been used by Ethyl to defend the emission levels associated with MMT.
The simple truth is that every manufacturer of automobiles sold in Canada has
separately and independently come to the conclusion that MMT is not compatible
with modern systems necessary to achieve the highest national standards of
emission control. You have heard this from my colleagues on this panel and I
have no doubt that representatives of foreign automobile companies will
reiterate this point later today.
Some critics of Bill C-29 have asked for delay in order to implement the
so-called independent or third party studies. I submit to you that the wealth
of information assembled to date proves that calls for more studies are nothing
more than stall tactics.
All of these companies know, from both laboratory testing and practical real
world experience, that spark plugs, oxygen sensors, catalysts and other
emissions and fuel system components are damaged by MMT. This results in higher
frequency of repairs and higher vehicle emissions for automobiles in Canada
than in the United States.
In addition to the exhibits made available by General Motors showing that OBD/2
systems are not compatible with Canadian fuels containing MMT, we have brought
with us today other samples and illustrations of automobile components so that
you have the clearest understanding of the consequences of MMT use.
The first of these is oxygen sensors, one the critical components of the
contemporary emission control system.
We ask that you turn your attention to the Ford book. Mr. Chairman, with your
permission, I should like to have this circulated to the committee members.
I should like to ask the committee members to turn to the first photograph which
shows a comparison of two oxygen sensors: One from a Canadian 1995, 3.8 litre
Windstar at approximately 37,000 kilometres, which appears on the
left-hand-side of the page; and one on the right, from a U.S. 1995, 3.8 litre
Windstar at about 56,000 kilometres. While you are looking at this photograph, I
would also like to circulate, for comparison purposes, a brand new oxygen
sensor so that you can compare this to both the Canadian and the U.S. sensor
that appears in the photograph.
The Canadian oxygen sensor on the left is coated with a reddish brown material
which is manganese oxide. The sensor on the right, the one from the U.S.
vehicle, operated on fuel that contains no MMT and shows no coating and remains
a clean, white colour. The sensor from the U.S. vehicle was fully functional
when removed by the technician; the Canadian sensor had malfunctioned and
triggered the malfunction indicator light.
In the case of the Canadian vehicle, the malfunction sensor was removed by the
technician. It is important to note that the U.S. vehicle travelled
approximately 11,000 kilometres more than the Canadian vehicle and showed no
accumulation of manganese oxide and no malfunction.
The remaining photographs of oxygen sensors, which appear on the subsequent
pages, show identical problems that were experienced with other pairs of
Canadian versus U.S. vehicles. In each case, the Canadian vehicle, which was
operated on fuel containing MMT, showed signs of significant manganese oxide
coating and triggered the malfunction indicator light.
Another critical component of the emission control system is the catalyst. The
function of the catalyst is to convert engine exhaust emissions and to reduce
the levels of oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbon emissions and CO, carbon
monoxide, out of the tailpipe.
If you turn to the section on catalysts, we have here a series of photographs
illustrating the problem experienced by all vehicle manufacturers.
Specifically, the cross-section view of these catalysts clearly show a high
level of manganese oxide deposition on the catalyst surface causing measurable
impairment of its operation.
If I might just point out for your edification, the reddish-brown material that
seem to be caked on most of the surface area of that catalyst is manganese
Consider the fourth photograph of the catalyst removed from a 1982, 2.3 litre
Thunderbird from Alberta at about 214,674 kilometres. Compare that to the
catalyst from the 1987, 2.3 litre Thunderbird at 190,476 kilometres from
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These vehicles are fully comparable given the
identical engines and emission control systems, yet there is a very dramatic
difference in the amount of manganese oxide coating and plugging on the surface
of the catalyst from the Canadian vehicle operated with MMT. Analysis of the
reddish-brown material which coated the catalyst-active sites was confirmed to
be manganese oxide.
Today, also for your interest, I have those actual catalyst bricks with me. Mr.
Hutchins is holding the catalyst from the 1987 Thunderbird from the U.S. The
other is the catalyst from the Canadian vehicle. Again, this is the photograph
that you see there and the very heavy brown coating that coats the surface of
The Chairman: Would you explain the function of the catalyst for those of us
with a less technical background, which is probably all of us?
Mr. Nantais: I tried to put it in the most simplistic terms I could. Its
function is to reduce engine-out emissions of hydrocarbons, NOx and carbon
monoxide out the tail pipe. I would refer you to one of our engineering experts
to give you a bit more of an explanation.
Mr. Ron Bright, Director, Environmental Energy and Vehicle Safety, Ford Motor
Company of Canada Limited: Basically it carries a catalyst coating which does
the conversion. This is normally a precious metal such as platinum, and it has
the chemical action of turning the more noxious gases and higher concentration
of gases down to the acceptable limits for the standards.
Senator Taylor: I noticed black versus brown. What were the original colours?
Mr. Bright: The colour normally would be a light beige, but it can be various
Senator Taylor: One was black. How do we know the black one is not plugged with
black material as much as the brown is plugged with brown material?
Mr. Bright: That is why we have done analysis to show what the deficiencies
were. There is a measurable difference in the efficiencies of the two
catalysts. In fact, if you look at the plugged area, there is obviously no
efficiency because there is no flow through the catalyst.
Senator Taylor: I am looking at your pictures of the three-litre Taurus from New
Jersey and Oakville. In my humble opinion, they both look pretty bad. One is
black and one is brown. One looks like it is plugged with manganese and the
other plugged with carbon.
Mr. Bright: They do have a coating of some things. Over time it does not impair
the function of the catalyst near to the effect that the manganese oxide does.
There is no question over time that catalysts do lose some efficiency, but very
little. In fact, we have a very small window with today's environmental aspects
where we can only lose about 1-per-cent to 2-per-cent efficiency. Years ago
there was a much wider band of acceptability, but we just do not have that
window to work with anymore. The American catalyst in this case does the job
for us, and the Canadian catalyst does not.
Senator Spivak: Three compounds are emitted -- nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons and
Mr. Bright: Yes. Those are what we call regulated emissions.
Senator Spivak: What about carbon dioxide?
Mr. Bright: There is carbon dioxide as well.
Senator Spivak: I am wondering about the function of the catalyst. Why are there
only these three emissions?
Mr. Bright: These are the regulated emissions -- hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide
and nitrates of oxygen.
Senator Spivak: And the catalytic converter, or whatever it is, does not convert
to screen CO2.
Mr. Bright: It does not; correct.
Senator Buchanan: With respect to the 1990 Taurus -- Kitchener, Ontario-Topeka,
Kansas -- basically there does not seem to be too much difference between those
Mr. Bright: If you look at the Kitchener catalyst, you see that in the middle of
the catalyst, many of those cells are pretty well blocked. However, if you look
at the other catalyst, you see that while it has turned black, they are pretty
clear. The gases are moving through that one freely, whereas they are not
moving through the Taurus catalyst.
Senator Buchanan: Why is there such a difference between the Taurus --
Kitchener, Ontario-Topeka, Kansas -- and the Thunderbird -- Vermillion,
Mr. Bright: The buildup of manganese oxide is dependent on two basic factors.
The first is the amount of fuel going through the unit or the amount of fuel
the car is using, which normally translates in most units to the mileage it
covers. The second big thing is the amount of manganese in the fuel. This
varies from company to company, from area to area and from the amount of
different "crudes" they use. One large tank-full at the service
station can be different than the next tank-full.
Senator Buchanan: Are you saying there is more manganese in gas in Alberta than
in Kitchener, Ontario?
Mr. Bright: There can be, very definitely so. It varies all over the country and
Senator Cochrane: This brown coating is as a result of the use of MMT; is that
what you are saying?
Mr. Bright: Exactly.
Senator Cochrane: Have you looked at other malfunctions? Could this be caused by
some electrical malfunction? Could this be caused by some mechanical
malfunction? How do you know that MMT has done this?
Mr. Bright: We conducted a series of chemical tests on the materials to show
what the composition is. At Ford, we ran a dynamometer test over 42,000 miles
where the only difference in the fuel was that MMT was added in the one case.
These are the results we consistently see when MMT is in the fuel.
Mr. Nantais: On the point about manganese oxide deposition, which increases with
the volume of the fuel used, I would direct you to the last photograph in the
booklet. This is the photograph from the 3.0 litre Taurus at 288,000 kilometres
from Welland, Ontario. It clearly shows just how severe the problem of plugging
can become. Notice the severe plugging of the surface as well as the thickness
of that coating. This occurs because, as Ms Darkes pointed out, 80 per cent of
the manganese in the fuel is left behind inside the automobile and much of that
is inside the catalyst. In such a case, the catalyst loses efficiency and can
no longer function well enough to meet the stringent emission standards imposed
by the federal government. Because of MMT, the catalyst simply cannot do its job
to reduce emissions.
It is important to know that automobile manufacturers must not only certify
their vehicles to meet new emission standards or emission standards when new.
Manufacturers must also certify their products to conform to in-use standards
after specific distances have been travelled. For example, the proposed 1998
Transport Canada and British Columbia regulations require vehicles to pass
in-use tests up to 120,000 kilometres. What I have cited are real-world problems
experienced by all manufacturers marketing vehicles in Canada.
Mr. Chairman, again with your permission, I would like to circulate a booklet
from Chrysler Canada. Chrysler has also provided a series of photographs
confirming spark plug misfire, oxygen sensor and catalyst problems.
Spark plug misfire is not a one company or a one spark plug condition. On page 3
of this booklet, the photograph at top of the page shows that a spark plug from
a Canadian model vehicle meeting current emission standards is again coated
with reddish brown manganese oxide. This photograph is important for several
reasons. It depicts what we call a long-life 160,000 kilometer spark plug
designed to last for the full useful life of the emission control system.
Industry usage of these plugs is increasing because of progressively more
stringent emission standards. The photograph depicts a spark plug that has been
in use for only 42,000 kilometers, which is only about one-quarter of its
expected life. In this case, the fuel used in the vehicle contained only half
the maximum allowable level of MMT according to the Canadian General Standards
Once again, compare the Canadian plug with the U.S. long-life spark plug
operating on fuel containing no MMT. It remains clear with no noticeable
manganese deposits or spark plug tracking.
Chrysler's experiences in Canada with manganese-related problems are no
different for oxygen sensors and catalysts than those cited by both domestic
and foreign manufacturers.
We all know that in 1995 a United States Federal Court of Appeal decision
allowed Ethyl Corporation's MMT registration to proceed. Technically speaking,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 20-year ban on the use of MMT was
overturned on procedural grounds, making MMT usage permissible.
From 1976 to 1995, MMT was not available for use in unleaded gasoline in the
United States. Throughout that period, it was available in Canada.
Though the courts in the United States have overturned the ban, it is our
understanding that the EPA is actively seeking to reimpose it because the court
ruling was based on procedure, not substance, and because the EPA continues to
investigate the question of the potential impact of MMT on on-board diagnostic
Also, the use of MMT is still severely restricted despite the court ruling in
the United States because MMT cannot be used in gasoline meant for regions
classified as non-attainment areas. Generally, these are zones, including large
cities, which have significant smog problems and are therefore regulated more
stringently than elsewhere. The Canadian equivalent, for instance, would be the
Lower Fraser Valley in British Columbia, the Windsor-Quebec City corridor and
the Saint John area of New Brunswick.
In the documentation we have provided to you, Mr. Chairman, you will have noted
a copy of a California regulation which maintains an outright ban on the use of
MMT in gasoline. The result of these federal and state regulations is that MMT,
while technically legal in the United States, cannot be used in many of the
country's most populated markets.
Moreover, as of September 1996, Amoco, Anchor Gasoline, ARCO, BP, Chevron,
Conoco, Exxon, Hess, Marathon Oil, Mobil, Pennzoil, Phillips, Shell, Sun and
Texaco all stated that they were not using MMT in United States gasoline. In
the statements made by the Environmental Defense Fund, a copy of which I have
forwarded, many of these companies went further and said that they had no plans
to use MMT in the future. I should like to circulate those comments with your
permission, Mr. Chairman. As you will note when you take a look at these, the
parent corporations of some of the Canadian companies are, indeed, quoted in
Given all these limitations on the future of MMT use, all automobile
manufacturers in the United States continue to develop vehicles which are
designed to meet the highest national emission standards and which,
incidentally, are not compatible with MMT. It has always been assumed that this
substance would not be available in the United States; and, in the automotive
industry, that assumption stands.
The Canadian government has stated in the past its desire to harmonize its
vehicle emissions and safety standards with the United States. The Canadian
automobile industry, which exports 88 per cent of Canadian manufactured
vehicles to the United States, wholeheartedly supports this position.
Harmonized standards would ensure that vehicles could be produced for the entire
North America market. This would also allow for maximum efficiencies of
production and the faster introduction of technological advances across the
Mr. Chairman, I also will be providing to you a statement which the then MVMA,
along with our colleagues from the foreign manufacturers, the AIMC, as well as
CPPI, signed in 1994. It is a statement on harmonization indicating their
commitment to provide fuels that support U.S. federal emission standards, that
support the vehicle manufacturers' ability to certify their vehicles to those
standards, including the in-use standards, as well as customer satisfaction,
performance and durability. I will be submitting that to your committee because
it is indicative of the direction that we as an industry, in conjunction with
the petroleum industry, have agreed to go forward on. Unfortunately, we do not
see them following through with that commitment.
As well, as all three of my colleagues have outlined, harmonized standards
cannot be achieved without the elimination of MMT from Canadian gasoline.
Vehicles designed and produced to run on clean gasoline cannot meet performance
and durability specifications if they are contaminated by MMT.
If MMT is not removed from Canadian gasoline, Canada will be faced with a
serious embarrassment. The proposed 1998 vehicle emission standards will be
unachievable. There will be no choice but to proceed with a lesser standard,
making Canadian emission controls inferior to those in the United States.
In conclusion, senators, the chief executive officers of three of Canada's
largest companies have come forward today to express their extreme concern at
Canada's lack of action to date on the issue of MMT. We have, I believe,
provided you with information which will help you in your deliberations on this
bill. As we have shown, there is no shortage of data confirming all our concerns
with MMT. Canada is an anomaly in the world in allowing the use of MMT in
gasoline and must act decisively to catch up with the national standards now
being set in the United States.
We urge you to move quickly on this issue because, as Mr. Hutchins has said, the
first 1998 model year vehicle will be released within days. The sooner this
bill is passed through Parliament and brought into effect, the better it will
be for all Canadian consumers, the Canadian automobile industry and for overall
air quality across Canada.
All of us will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our
views that you have heard today.
The Chairman: Thank you members of the panel for a well-documented presentation.
It raises a number of questions from my colleagues.
Senator Kenny: Welcome to the Senate. My first question is: Why are you here?
Why are you folks taking up the time of this committee on a fight that you are
having with big oil and why have not you resolved it some place else?
Ms Darkes: We have worked diligently to resolve this issue with big oil for
several years. I personally met with the presidents of a number of the big oil
companies, asking them for their support to resolve this issue. We have been
met with an absolute negative response. Frankly, we thought we had this issue
resolved back in 1994 when we reached an agreement with the Canadian Petroleum
Institute. I will tell you what we agreed to with them. It was this: Fuel
supplied to Canadian consumers must be fully compatible with all emission
control equipment installed on new vehicles to ensure the proper operation of
vehicles, to meet consumer demands and to meet the U.S. federal emission
standards; and, fuels commercially available in Canada must not adversely
affect the ability of a vehicle to comply with vehicle emission certification
standards, in-use emission standards or the performance of the emission control
technology for its useful life.
That is the agreement that we reached with the petroleum industry in 1994. That
agreement has not been implemented on their part.
We are here today because we need legislation in order to have the appropriate
fuels to operate Canadian vehicles. We are concerned that without the immediate
passage of this legislation, we will have another series of vehicles on the
road today that cannot meet new emission standards, new emission standards that
are pending federally and emission standards that are to be in place in British
Columbia. We need the legislation. We have done everything we possibly can to
seek an agreement with the petroleum industry.
Mr. Landry: Our customers are likely to be dissatisfied when they progress with
this and then receive a bill outside of warranty to repair a catalytic
converter for between $600 to $1,000 or to replace a sensor for $200. These are
all costs that would be borne by someone, whether us or the customer. At one
time or another, the MMT gasoline will cause those problems to happen to our
customers. It is serious stuff, and that is why we are here.
Mr. Hutchins: First and foremost, it is a customer satisfaction issue, and that
is our business. We want to sell another 1.3 million vehicles this year in
Canada, and it is incredible that we put those vehicles out knowing -- as you
see in the pictures, the evidence, and the data -- what it does to these
vehicles. The ultimate cost, whether it is under warranty or out of warranty,
will be borne by the customer.
Senator Kenny: The CPPI implied earlier today that the OBD or the OBD-II
equipment that you have may not work for a variety of reasons, not just because
of MMT. They suggested, without putting words in their mouth, that in fact much
of the malfunctioning may be due to other causes. What is your comment?
Mr. Nantais: We have some experts here who could give you a very good answer to
that. We will ask Roger Thomas to step toward.
Mr. Roger Thomas, Manager, Automotive Regulatory Activities, General Motors of
Canada: The on-board diagnostics system we currently have was probably one of
the most technically challenging systems we have ever designed. An immense
amount of work went into designing this system, and it is a remarkable system
which does act as an on-board inspection and maintenance program for vehicles.
We have had some minor teething problems, and I do stress the word "minor."
However, when you look at the effect that MMT is having on our vehicles in
Canada, those problems pale by comparison.
Ms. Darkes: CPPI may have been referring to a service bulletin which General
Motors issued. The only issues referred to in that service bulletin other than
the fuels happened to be extreme weather conditions such as floods, which is a
very unusual situation; the use of non-original equipment manufacturer's parts
which could cause some problems; and repeated cold weather starts where a
vehicle travels 500 yards and stops. I do have a copy of that service bulletin
if you would like to have a copy. The main part of the bulletin deals with
fuels because that is the issue for OBD-II systems. The other issues are very
rare occurrences, but it does indicate that some fuels contain a manganese
octane enhancer known as MMT which can affect various components of the
vehicle's emission control system. These effects may result in misfire or
oxygen sensored DTCs. MMT may also decrease the ability of the catalyst
diagnostic to detect actual failures. Low fuel levels could cause fuel
starvation, lean engine operation, and eventually a misfireDTC.
I believe this is the bulletin they referred to, but clearly the focus in that
bulletin is the fuel component as it relates to OBD-II systems. Any other
references are for unique events such as floods.
Mr. Hutchins: It seems ironic to me that, when you consider the northeast states
of the U.S. and the data on warranty issues in the U.S. versus Canada, we have
a multiple of problems in Canada. It all has to do with spark plugs and
catalytic converters and sensors. The only difference between Canada and the
U.S. is the fuels.
The Chairman: On that point, in fairness to what we were told about your GM
service bulletin, Ms Darkes, it said considerably more than that. As I look it,
it had one paragraph, a two-liner, which referred to MMT. The balance of it,
probably by far the majority of it, referred to other problems. It talked about
fuel concerns, improper vapour pressure of the fuel, using fuel with the wrong
octane rating, refueling and the fuel cap, mud, environment, vehicle handling,
severe vibration, and poor vehicle maintenance, all of which were factors which
would have these impacts. In fairness to your own bulletin, I think it said
Ms. Darkes: Clearly, senator, not using original manufacturer's is a problem
controllable by the consumer. Not putting your fuel cap back on the gas tank is
a problem controllable by the consumer. The issue that is not controllable by
the consumer here is the quality of the fuel that he gets, and that is what the
bulletin addresses. The consumer cannot do much about flooding, but clearly we
can all do something about the quality of the fuel.
The Chairman: What about improper vapour pressure? Is that not a technical
matter relating to the construction of the vehicle?
Ms. Darkes: Again, we are putting systems on vehicles that deal with vapour
pressure and improved results there. The consumer can do nothing about the fuel
quality. That is something with which he must be provided.
Mr. Landry: On the average, Mr. Chairman, whatever happens in the States in
similar circumstances will happen here as well. The difference between the two
is the MMT-related fuel or the absence of MMT in the fuel. That is the
The Chairman: I am sure we will come to that later. I just wanted to intercede
on that one point.
Senator Kenny: I believe you said that going to an alternative such as MTBE
would be a cost of about $7 per year per consumer, and then you contrasted that
with hundreds of dollars of service calls. Is that the public policy rationale
you are putting to the committee, that the absence of this legislation will
result in hundreds of dollars of service calls that will be either picked up
through the warranty or ultimately by the consumer, versus the $7 cost? Is it
just that simple, from your point of view?
Mr. Hutchins: Again, it is a customer satisfaction issue. It is the right thing
to do. The only point I am making is that we have invested millions of dollars
into these systems, and we have 15 manufacturers which independently have come
up with these systems. By the way, none of them are conducive to MMT.
With the investment that has already been made, and with the cost to the
consumer of not being allowed to have the system in place to work to its
optimum, it could cost the consumer, because of MMT, for a catalyst anywhere
between $600 to $1,000, spark plugs are $40 to $100, and to replace oxygen
sensors costs $200. That is $1500. It is ironic that $1500 per vehicle is about
what we have per vehicle for these systems, on average.
Senator Kenny: We have heard talk about disconnecting the equipment. What will
you do if we do not pass this bill?
Mr. Landry: There are two things that will happen. We will not meet the emission
standards for B.C. We will not meet the 1998 emission standards for Canada. We
will require a disclaimer on everything we do. We may have to disconnect the
OBD-II. Some other consequential decisions will be made which will be deterrent
certainly to the type of environment work that has been done in the past.
At one time a few years ago, there was the turn to the four-cylinder engines,
and the industry spent $40 billion over a short period of time to meet the
standards. It became more difficult to meet the standards as they were
changing, and the OBD-II is the way that has been selected to do that. It has
been highly effective in doing so provided that the conditions are respected as
far as gasoline is concerned.
If you remove this, I do not know what is next on a short term and what we get
for all of the millions of dollars that we have spent on research and
development to get to the point we are at now.
Senator Kenny: Is that the position of all three companies?
Mr. Hutchins: As far as Ford Canada is concerned, we commend our colleagues from
General Motors because they seemed to have the foresight to take action as far
as disconnecting the warning light. We did not do that predicated on our
feeling that the government would act in good faith and pass this bill.
Now we are standing with a 1998 model Windstar being put on the road on February
13 and, to be perfectly honest, at this point in time we are undecided about
what action to take. We are very hopeful for a speedy resolution of this issue
right here. That could save us all a lot of time and trouble.
Ms Darkes: We have disconnected the OBD-II system lights. We are awaiting the
outcome of this legislation to determine what we can do for 1998. Very soon our
1998 models are also coming to market, but until we know the resolution of this
issue and up to this point, we have the lights disconnected.
Senator Taylor: How optimistic are you that the legislative process would move
that fast? It might be the 2001 model that will be affected.
Mr. Landry: It has been a long wait.
Mr. Hutchins: We have been waiting a long time.
Senator Taylor: I would be interested in asking the president of Ford from which
refiner he obtained his MMT-free gasoline in Canada?
Mr. Landry: We obtained it from Esso and Shell.
Senator Taylor: We heard a lot of crying from both of them this morning that it
was a very difficult thing to do.
Mr. Landry: We understand, senator, that Irving is supplying it. Those with the
capability of producing it are supplying the eastern states with gasoline that
Senator Taylor: As is Irving refinery and as is Come By Chance.
Mr. Hutchins: There is a high percentage in B.C. Chevron, I think, is about 40
per cent MMT-free in B.C.
Mr. Nantais: That is 40 per cent of the market approximately, but Chevron does
produce MMT-free for the lower Fraser River Valley.
Senator Taylor: So it is not a rarity. I am a little puzzled about why you are
here, too, as someone has already asked.
If the government puts in emission regulations, and if there is MMT-free
gasoline already being refined and marketed, why not just let free enterprise
take its course? You can tell purchasers that if they buy this vehicle and use
MMT-free gasoline, they will meet the requirements and, if not, the gendarme
will be there to test the tailpipe because the emissions will not make the test.
Why not just tell the consumer that they have the choice to use MMT gasoline and
it will not pass in the back, or tell them to use it and you stand behind it?
Ms Darkes: We agree that consumers should have that choice. Unfortunately,
MMT-free fuel is simply not available in Canada. We had asked the petroleum
industry if they would assist in this by having one MMT-free fuel pump
available at each and every station. It would be up to the oil industry to
determine the best way of doing that. The industry said that they would not do
that. So while we are recommending to consumers that they need to use MMT-free
gasoline, there is nothing the consumer can do about it today because it is not
available to him at the pumps.
Senator Taylor: You have all these little hotshot marketers, like Mohawk in the
west, that provide ethanol. Would they not immediately leap into the breach? I
can see a place for some senators to quickly get into business if you announce
that they should just take MMT-free gasoline. Will it not take over very
Ms Darkes: We are amazed as you are that, collectively, all the oil companies
have refused to provide MMT-free fuel to us. On the other hand, we have had
some experience in the past. In Canada, we needed low sulphur diesel fuel for
new diesel engines which we had developed for heavy-duty trucks. Unfortunately,
we ran into the same problem. We were not able to get low-sulphur diesel fuel
in Canada when it was available in the United States.
As a result, with those new technology engines, we could not bring them into
Canada until several years after they were available in the United States. We
really faced this problem in many different facets. That is why we are here
today, because we need the regulation.
Senator Whelan: Coming from my area and having worked as a tool-and-die maker
and in auto parts factories, it is good to see these three so close together.
Senator Taylor: You will never buy a Japanese car again.
Mr. Hutchins: It is only for an hour and a half.
Senator Whelan: What will happen to the warranty on new vehicles if MMT remains
in Canadian gasoline? Will you honour the warranty?
Mr. Landry: The multiplicity of the cost is the big decision which we must make
ourselves. We are not there yet. We will make that decision soon on the 1998
model. We already have a disclaimer in our warranty saying that MMT is
Either disconnecting the OBD-II or voiding the warranty is the choice, because
if you multiply the cost by the number of cars on the road, it becomes
astronomic. None of us individually can support it. It is too much.
Senator Whelan: This morning, when the other people were here, I asked several
questions. I also quoted a well-informed son-in-law of ours who is a grand
master technician with a General Motors dealership.
The Chairman: We will have to call him as a witness.
Senator Whelan: He is the one who has to fix these bad things that happen
because of MMT. He could be a good witness here for these people who have some
reservations about MMT doing any damage. He can tell you that, every day, he
works on a car and he disconnects a system that is not working right and is
destroying or changing the catalytic converter. He is working in the dust. The
doctor is telling him he should wear a mask, a coat, and be fully covered and
not be subjected to that type of chemical because it is so dangerous.
I have talked to doctors about the dust from these catalytic converters. I have
a little radio program that I use and I had a doctor from Manitoba speak to
this. We look not just at the mechanical costs but at the health risks. I am
sure you must be concerned about that also.
Mr. Landry: There is no doubt we are. Mr. Chairman, for the record, I should
like the senators to know that Mr. Whelan drives a Chrysler car.
Senator Taylor: Is that why he is always late?
Senator Whelan: I drove a Chrysler since 1950, but my wife has driven a Ford. We
also own a GMC product so we are non-partisan.
Mr. Landry: He is also a great politician.
Senator Whelan: In the United States, what do they put in their gas instead of
MMT? Do they put anything?
Mr. Nantais: In the United States, generally, they have what they call a higher
octane pool. They may not need any additional additive to get that octane, but
there has also been wide range use of MTBE which is a readily available and
very acceptable alternative to MMT, if indeed it is required there. That is
generally the practice.
Senator Whelan: Have you done any testing with your engines or in your whole
operation with ethanol? In your pictures, you also show the propane. I imagine
that would be the same with natural gas vehicles? The spark plugs and catalytic
converters do not show very much damage either, I take it?
Mr. Nantais: On the question of ethanol, vehicle manufacturers, as you will note
in the owners' manuals, will accept up to 10 per cent ethanol as part of the
gasoline blend. That is perfectly acceptable for their products. Ethanol, by
the way, is also another readily available alternative to MMT.
Senator Whelan: I am a strong supporter of ethanol. This morning, the witnesses
intimated that some refiners would be closed down. They told us that, in the
last 15 years, 12 or 15 refiners have closed down but not because of MMT.
You have financing your car-building by yourselves. You got rid of the banks.
Why not get into the oil refining business?
Mr. Landry: They probably started with me, senator. I started my career in the
oil industry for about 10 years. Maybe we should get involved in oil refining.
Senator Whelan: What I see in the oil industry today is less and less
competition, buying out refineries, closing them down. I am told some of these
were very good refineries. I do not see that it would have been such a bad idea
because their financial statements are generally pretty good.
Mr. Landry: This is the other point. It is not a question of financial
statements. I find it regrettable that we are that far with the process when
the need is so clearly identified.
Forget for a minute the big three that are represented by this witness panel and
think of all the other manufacturers that will be making representations to the
Senate committee. I am speaking of Honda, Toyota and Mercedes. They will say
fundamentally the same thing: It does not work with MMT in the gasoline. It
screws up our system. It will cost money to someone some day and it even
prevents us from meeting the standards the government is asking us to meet.
I am sorry we have to debate an issue that everyone is researching
independently. It happens company by company. We do not exchange warranty
information. We would all come to the same conclusion. It is beyond me, sir.
Senator Whelan: I am 100 per cent against MMT, so I just want to reiterate what
Senator Kenny said.
It is difficult to believe that you must come here when it is so obvious that so
much research is done in the United States by the same companies. Have you met
with any branches of government, such as the cabinet?
Mr. Landry: We met quite a few of the ministers. We met a few of the senators
and promised to meet them all.
Senator Whelan: You met some MPs too, did you not?
Mr. Landry: Yes. We have reviewed the situation and the concerns. The bill is
currently in committee. We are anxious to see Bill C-29 behind us and that is
probably one of the main reasons we are here.
Mr. Hutchins: Senator, you asked about the warning. I might just mention the
owners' manual. I have a copy of the 1997 Crown Victoria owners' guide. On page
239, choosing the right fuel, it says:
The use of leaded fuel is prohibited by law and can damage your vehicle. The
damage may not be covered by your warranty. Your vehicle was not designed to
use fuel containing manganese-based additives such as MMT.
It goes on in the back to say:
Repair of damage caused by using a fuel that your vehicle was not designed for
may not be covered by your warranty.
We get questions about that. Every customer that buys an automobile says, "Am
I covered or not?"
Senator Rompkey: I am interested in some of the contradictions which appear.
Mr. Hutchins, in his comments, said, "A successful automotive company in
1997 is one which accurately determines what the customer wants."
However, you are the customer for the oil companies. Why are they not
determining accurately what you want?
Mr. Hutchins: I wish I could answer that, senator. I do not have any answer to
As Maureen mentioned, we have been meeting with the oil companies. We thought we
had a memorandum of understanding. We went forward on that basis. That is why I
am behind the eight ball, to be honest with you. I am sitting here with a 1998
vehicle on the road because I guess they did not listen to the customer.
Senator Rompkey: They were saying this morning that you guys were the real bad
guys in the game and it was quite different in the United States. What they
really want is some independent study in which all the parties in which all the
parties participate. They say this is happening in the United States but it is
not happening in Canada
We explored that with them. They speculated as to why it might happen. It was
interesting that Mr. Landry said he worked for an oil company previously. One
of the reasons given as to why there might be cooperation in the United States
was interlocking board of directors in the relationship between the oil and
auto companies in the United States.
There seem to be contradictions between Canada and the U.S. as far as how this
problem is being solved. Why are those contradictions there?
Mr. Landry: There was a list of 15 or 20 oil companies in the U.S. that are
producing MMT-free gasoline and have no intention to change. Some are the
affiliated companies, if you wish, of their wholly-owned subsidiary in Canada,
not offering MMT-free gasoline.
Whenever there is an investment to make -- it was the same in low sulphur and
again this time -- there is a reluctance and delay tactics set in. At the same
time, we are not meeting the standards that, I submit with all due respect,
that the country asked us to follow.
There cannot be duplicate technology for everything we do. This technology has
been developed on a world-wide basis by everyone, by independent companies.
This is the best we can do and without it we cannot meet the standards. We
cannot do what we are asked to do from the point of view of the environment.
I hope that answers your question, sir, because I cannot say any more about the
Mr. Nantais: If I may supplement that, they are probably referring to a test
program ongoing right now with our counterpart organization. That test program
is really being done in response to EPA and the court decision.
EPA expressed the view that notwithstanding the court decision, they remain
concerned about the impacts of MMT on second generation onboard diagnostic
systems. That program is proceeding to add to the existing body of knowledge so
that EPA can go back and re-evaluate the situation. As we said earlier, indeed,
they will be looking at that question again. That information will be added to
that body of evidence.
Senator Cochrane: I do not have the exact quote, but one of the witnesses this
morning said the reason they are so opposed to this is that it would set a
Mr. Landry: A precedent.
Senator Cochrane: A precedent for banning other kinds of elements in gasoline.
They want to take a stand here so that other things which may be harmful to the
environment in gasoline will not be addressed by government.
Ms Darkes: Well, I think we are asking government to address this issue and have
asked the oil companies to address it because there is clear, incontrovertible
evidence that MMT in gasoline degrades emissions systems and causes failures.
The day-to-day evidence which has been shown here is clear. I cannot understand
why this would set a bad precedent. What the government is being asked to do is
ban a substance which has been shown to be harmful.
Senator Buchanan: As you know, Mr. Chairman, I am a non-vocal politician from
small-in-size but big-in-quality Nova Scotia. I find this exercise rather
confusing. As a provincial politician for 24 years, and premier of the province
for 13 of those years, I find it difficult not to think sometimes as a
It seems to me that we have a situation here where either you people have not
done your homework or the others have not, because eight provincial premiers
and eight provincial governments oppose this bill. That is rather unusual in
Canadian politics and I have been there a long time.
I also want to point out that I drive a Buick, my wife drives Plymouth, and one
of my sons drives a Ford Windstar. I buy my gasoline from Esso, Irving,
Petro-Canada, Ultramar, Wilson Fuels, Shell, and Mercer fuels in Sydney.
Senator Taylor: No loyalty.
Senator Buchanan: You understand I look after everyone.
The Chairman: And your question is?
Senator Buchanan: All of the provincial premiers oppose this bill: First,
because it is an infringement of interprovincial trade, one of the things we
always oppose; second, because they do not see any conclusive evidence of any
environmental danger or damage here, yet; and third, because of the economy and
concern over jobs in most of those provinces, with small marginal refineries
where jobs may be lost because of the precarious financial position of some of
What do you say about all this? What do you say to these eight provincial
governments, three or four of which have said they will take the federal
government to court?
Ms Darkes: Clearly we believe the federal government has the jurisdiction to
legislate on this issue because we believe the federal government has control
Senator Buchanan: I am talking about interprovincial agreements.
Ms Darkes: -- interprovincial trade and foreign trade.
Senator Buchanan: Wait a minute. I do not know which constitutional lawyers you
were talking to but when it comes to interprovincial trade, we fought that for
about 50 years in this country and the federal government never indicated they
ever exercised a jurisdiction over that and could tell the provinces what to do
about interprovincial trade until there was an agreement a few years ago.
Mr. Landry: That is probably where we made an error, senator. Before building
the OBD-II, we should have consulted a constitutional expert.
Ms Darkes: Senator, we have to rely on the government to choose the appropriate
forum for the legislation, but what is critical to us is that Bill C-29 proceed
immediately to ban MMT for all the reasons we have shown today.
Senator Buchanan: Have you met with the provincial governments?
Ms Darkes: We have met with several of them and as you know Ontario very much
supports the legislation.
Senator Buchanan: That is understandable.
Ms Darkes: As does British Columbia. They obviously have legislation on the
books. The facts are incontrovertible. MMT in gasoline fouls the emission
control systems, and everyone knows what needs to be done. We also recognize
that there are costs involved, and that is something with which all of us have
struggled. The auto industry has spent hundreds of millions, if not billions, of
dollars on environmental issues. I can speak to just two examples within
General Motors plants. Our paint shop at Sainte-Thérèse and our
paint shop in our Oshawa truck plant now use water-borne paints systems. Those
two plants alone cost us hundreds of millions of dollars to convert to that new
paint system. They are difficult expenditures to undertake but we have come to
the conclusion that if we are going improve the environment over time, those
kinds of expenditures have to be made. There is never a good time to make them,
but in the end result they have to be made if we are to do the job on the
environment. I recognize the difficulty.
Senator Buchanan: I have one further question. We have the Imperial Oil refinery
in Dartmouth. You know what the government and premier of Nova Scotia have said
about that, and the concern they have about the possibility that that refinery
may suffer negative consequences if MMT is banned. I say "may"
because Imperial Oil has never said they would close it but it certainly is not
In addition to that, I would like to ask Mr. Nantais a question about Volvo,
which also has a plant in Nova Scotia. I know a lot about it. I opened their
new plant for them, and I would hate to see something happen to that. What is
the situation with Volvo regarding MMT?
Mr. Nantais: I should have mentioned this earlier. I had discussions with the
president of Volvo prior to coming here. He was expecting to come, to be part
of this hearing. Unfortunately, he and his entire management team had to travel
to Sweden on this occasion. He regrets he could not be here with us. However, I
can say to you that Volvo Canada and Volvo in the United States fully supports
the findings that all the other manufacturers have put forward here today. They
are indeed very concerned about MMT. As you know, they are a resident of Nova
Scotia since 1963 and they too would like to continue operating in that
Senator Cochrane: In a publication put out by Ethyl Corporation, entitled "MMT
and On-Board Diagnostic Evaluation of Engine Misfires", October, 1996, a
Ford official is quoted as saying at a conference in Michigan that "...we
have, over a number of years, looked at MMT contaminated plugs, and, so far, we
have been unable to find one that actually had a problem."
Would you, Mr. Hutchins, care to comment on this apparent difference in the
experience regarding MMT?
Mr. Hutchins: I do not know the article, the source of the information, and so
on, and I do not agree with it. I cannot speak to it because I just do not know
Mr. Nantais: I might add that other spark plug manufacturers -- and I think we
provided this information to the committee but if we have not we certainly will
-- have clearly stated in the press that they have indeed witnessed premature
failure of their products as a result of MMT. Whom do you believe?
Mr. Hutchins: We also have the warranty data. As we compare northeastern U.S.
with Canada, we see the failures that have taken place. Certainly it is a
multiple of cost in Canada versus the U.S, with regard to spark plugs, sensors,
and converters. The only difference is the fuels.
Senator Cochrane: This was a quote from a Ford official.
Mr. Hutchins: I do not know who it was.
Senator Cochrane: I have one more question. If you are convinced that MMT is
detrimental to the environment, that it is a harmful substance, why are you
willing to accept this bill? After all, this bill does not ban the use of MMT.
Should you not be supporting a complete ban on MMT?
Mr. Nantais: Again, senator, we do not have the ability to choose the instrument
that is being used here. Clearly, that would be the optimum. I think what you
see in effect, as a result of this piece of legislation, is that that would
result in an outright ban on MMT. Yes, one could build a MMT plant in every
province, that would be the loophole, but I cannot see that happening, quite
Senator Hays: Does the non-operation of OBD-II do anything to the performance of
the automobile? Does it go as fast and operate the same way without the
Mr. Nantais: The OBD-II system is, as Mark pointed out, an on-board inspection
maintenance program. It monitors about 17 different functions of the drive
train and engine such as spark plugs and catalyst efficiency. It is intended to
ensure that a vehicle remains within specification for the full useful life of
the vehicle in terms of delivering the emission-reductions performance that it
was designed to deliver.
Senator Hays: So when you unhook it, it affects more than the air emission
aspect of what your systems are designed to achieve.
Mr. Nantais: The on-board diagnostic system just monitors those functions. Of
course, if you do have spark plug misfire, you are allowing volumes of fuel to
Senator Hays: But your drive train check is also gone when you unhook the
Mr. Nantais: There are a number of different codes. You can deactivate certain
codes and others remain in place to monitor those functions.
Senator Hays: Do you know what people are looking for to satisfy themselves that
MMT is a problem for your OBD-II systems? You have presented evidence to us
which seems compelling to a lay person. However, it obviously does not impress
them. Do you know what would impress them?
Mr. Nantais: I am not sure it is a question of impressing them.
Senator Hays: Or convincing them.
Mr. Nantais: I think it is a question of economics for them. The president of
CCPI has admitted to me that this is strictly an economic problem, and he may
have alluded to that here this morning. It is not a question of not having the
technology to do it. The technology exists.
Senator Hays: They said the problem was a combination of industrial power
brokering, which has come up already, and economics. They are also saying, if I
heard them correctly, that they do not believe this is a problem.
Do you know what it would take to convince them? Have they given you any signal?
Mr. Landry: The biggest proof we could give is that 20 automobile manufacturers
in Canada, from all over the world, have all, independently of one another,
reached the same conclusion; that MMT is damaging, and we have no alternatives.
That is basically the situation, sir.
Mr. Hutchins: We thought that coming here might convince them. We will wait and
Senator Hays: On the same matter, one of you said that the designers of the
system have designed it for other than MMT fuels. I guess you started from the
very beginning to exclude MMT fuels as something which could fire these
Perhaps you could talk a bit about the design of the OBD-II.
Mr. Nantais: I would like to ask Stuart Perkins to come forward. I think he can
give you a succinct answer on that.
Mr. Stuart Perkins, Director of Engineering, Chrysler Canada: The systems were
designed to operate on motor fuels. Motor fuel is essentially gasoline with
certain other additives. We found that the diagnostics systems could not
tolerate the depletion of MMT. It clouded the diagnostics sensors. It is not
that we designed them to operate without MMT; it is that the MMT additive was
The Chairman: We thank you very much for appearing and sharing your views with
us. It was very important.
I wish to welcome our next panel. Thank you very much for being here with us
today and sharing your viewpoints, which are important to us. We know that you
have busy schedules and that you have made a big commitment to be with us
today. We are very appreciative.
As you saw from our past process, please take whatever time you feel you need to
explain your position so that we understand it. My colleagues and I will then
enjoy some conversation with you.
Mr. Kiyoharu Owada, President, Nissan Canada, Association of International
Automobile Manufacturers of Canada: On behalf of the members of the Association
of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada, I wish to express our
thanks for this opportunity to speak to you today about the impact of MMT on
It is a special honour for me, in my capacity as the chairman of the association
of the International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada, to introduce to you my
distinguished colleagues on the panel.
With me today are Ernst Lieb, President of Mercedes-Benz Canada; Mr. Yoshio
Nakatani, President of Toyota Canada Inc; Mr. Ikuo Shimizu, President of Honda
Canada Inc; and Mr. Don McArthur, President of the association. All are members
of the association's executive committee.
Also present as technical advisors are Manfred Mokry, Mercedes-Benz Canada;
Glenn Brickshaw, Honda Canada Inc.; and Martin Ehmann Toyota Canada Inc.
Our association's 15 members manufacture and market vehicles throughout the
world and most have manufacturing plants in North America. There are three in
Canada. The total production of these Canadian plants now exceeds the import of
automobiles from overseas by a considerable margin.
International automobile manufacturers have been leaders in the development of
durable, fuel efficient vehicles with advance emission control devices. We know
that Canadians want clean-burning vehicles. Our members have developed
sophisticated emission control devices that will allow them to meet the most
stringent national emission standards in the world.
However, there is a serious problem for all automobile manufacturers around the
world. The emission control devices will not do their job if MMT is present in
gasoline. This is a conclusion Nissan and other global manufacturers, have
independently reached based on real-life, in-use results.
Canada is the centre of this issue. Our emission control systems are predicated
upon the availability of MMT-free fuel, which is known in the U.S.A. and
throughout the world, and which we were assured by the Canadian government
would be made available here.
Not eliminating MMT from fuel in Canada today would prevent us from meeting
Transport Canada's proposed 1998 vehicle emission integration, which is
predicated on the availability of MMT-free fuel. It will create an unacceptable
cost in unnecessary warranty repairs and will needlessly irritate consumers
with false warning lights. This is why MMT is such a high profile issue here in
MMT-free fuel is vital for the operation of our emission control systems.
Without the promised MMT-free fuels, we will be unable to comply immediately in
B.C. and will be unable to meet the proposed 1998 Canadian federal emission
I do not know the original reasoning behind the 1970s Canadian decision to allow
the use of this suspected neutral toxin as an alternative to lead as an octane
enhancer in fuel, but it has long been known in international technical circles
that it was a problem for cars. Spark plugs and catalysts have been degraded by
MMT since 1970s. We have accepted it up to now as part of doing business in
Canada, although never to our satisfaction. With the introduction of the latest
emission control systems, however, we can no longer do this. My colleagues from
Toyota Canada, Honda Canada, Mercedes-Benz Canada and from the North American
car companies agreed with this assessment of the situation.
You have all received detailed information from us. We have brought with us
today a team of technical experts who can answer any questions you may have.
Nissan strongly supports the passage of Bill C-29. MMT-free fuel is absolutely
necessary for our sophisticated second generation on-board diagnostics systems,
OBD-II, which Nissan began installing in 1995 model year cars in anticipation
of compatible MMT-free fuels.
My colleague from Toyota Canada will now outline Toyota's related research
activities and concerns and the impact of failing to pass Bill C-29. Mr.
Nakatani will be followed by Mr. Shimizu, who will describe Honda's technical
situation. Mr. Lieb will briefly outline Mercedes-Benz activities and summarize
the impact of failing to quickly pass Bill C-29.
Thank you for this opportunity. We look forward to the passing of this important
Mr. Yoshio Nakatani, President, Toyota Canada, Association of International
Automobile Manufacturers of Canada: It is a pleasure for Toyota to appear
before this committee of the Senate of Canada.
As you are aware, Toyota is manufacturing and distributing motor vehicles in
Canada and around the world. It is my pleasure to make a report to you at this
time. Our Cambridge plant expansion project for 200,000 production capacity is
progressing very well. It will be completed some time in May or June so that we
can produce new Corollas from new facilities.
Through extensive research and development, Toyota has designed state-of-the-art
vehicle emission control technology. This technology is capable of reducing
harmful emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen to
extremely low levels. We have designed this technology to comply with the most
stringent emission control regulations in the world and to perform throughout
the useful life of the vehicle.
I am here today because I am very concerned about the MMT in Canadian gasoline.
First, I am concerned about the fact that there is evidence that MMT is
responsible for the release of potentially harmful manganese oxide vehicle
emissions. Second, I am concerned that MMT will interfere with our emission
control technology and cause higher levels of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide
to be released. Third, I am concerned that MMT will interfere with the
operation of our on-board diagnostic system which monitors whether the emission
control technology is operating properly.
These concerns are very important to us as our ability to contribute to the
quality of the environment and meet increasingly stringent emission control
regulations is at risk. There is some data that indicates that manganese oxide
emissions caused by MMT are neurotoxic. A large body of data indicates that MMT
in Canadian gasoline causes manganese oxide deposits to form on catalytic
converters and oxygen sensors. In some circumstances, the manganese oxide
deposit on the catalytic converter interferes with the proper functioning of
the catalytic converter and causes increased levels of harmful emissions to be
There is also concern that manganese oxide deposits on oxygen sensors could
interfere with the proper functioning of the emission control technology and
on-board diagnostic system. Our analysis of this problem supports these
I would like to take a moment to outline the type of data we collected and how
our analysis of the data has raised concerns for not only Toyota but also for
Canadian consumers and the Canadian environment.
In 1993, we installed our most advanced emission control technology and on-board
diagnostic system into selected models of our 1994 vehicles manufactured for
Canada and for the United States. We conducted routine durability testing on
the emission control components by collecting them from in-use vehicles in
Canada and installing them on test vehicles in Japan. The emissions from the
Canadian components were compared to the emissions from U.S. components. The
U.S. components were collected in the same manner but operated using MMT-free
fuel. We found that the Canadian components caused increased levels of harmful
hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide to be released.
In order to determine the cause of the release of increased levels of
hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, we inspected the Canadian components. The
results indicated that, one, manganese oxide deposits were present on the
catalytic converters and oxygen sensors; two, the amount of manganese deposits
increased with increased mileage; and, three, MMT was responsible for the
manganese oxide deposits.
We also conducted detailed analysis of the exhaust system data which we
collected from the on-board diagnostic systems of Canadian and U.S. in-use
vehicles. Based on our findings, we concluded that the manganese oxide deposits
found on the catalytic converters can, in some circumstances, cause the
catalytic converters to lose efficiency. This would allow increased levels of
harmful emissions to be released.
As a result of our findings, we also became concerned that the manganese oxide
deposits found on the oxygen sensors may interfere with the emission control
technology and the ability of the on-board diagnostic system to properly
monitor the emission control technology.
The on-board diagnostic system is designed to alert the driver of a vehicle if
the emission control technology malfunctions. The decreased efficiency of the
catalytic converter and the possible failure of the on-board diagnostic system
to alert the driver of a vehicle when the catalytic converter malfunctions are
very serious problems. We believe that these problems may jeopardize our ability
to comply with the stringent emission control regulations enacted by British
Columbia and proposed by the federal Government of Canada.
We provided a detailed description of our findings in confidence with each the
British Columbia and federal governments.
We understand that the both the British Columbia regulations and the federal
government's proposed regulations are based on the availability of MMT-free
fuel in Canada.
Although I have spent some time speaking to you about our technical concerns, I
believe there are even greater concerns which affect Canadian consumers and the
Canadian environment. Canadian consumers are now able to buy some of the most
sophisticated emission control technology in the world. We have been able to
keep the cost of this technology at an affordable level by making it available
to all North Americans alike and designing it to perform throughout the useful
life of the vehicle. However, with MMT in Canadian gasoline, we are concerned
that the warranty costs associated with this technology will increase and
affect vehicle pricing. This concern has become more prevalent as the British
Columbia and federal governments introduced legislation to require that
vehicles meet increasingly stringent emission levels. We are also concerned that
after the expiration of the warranty coverage, the cost of repairs incurred by
consumers will increase. As a result, the MMT in Canadian gasoline could lead
to an increase in the cost of purchasing and owning a vehicle for Canadian
We know that the Canadian new vehicle market is shrinking. We believe that
affordability is the main reason for this shrinking market. We would like to
continue to make new vehicles with state-of-the-art emission control technology
available to Canadian consumers at affordable prices. We would like to see
vehicle affordability stimulate the new vehicle market and the Canadian economy
and contribute to Canada's continuous prosperity. We would like to see advanced
emission control technology contribute to the health of Canadians and the
quality of the Canadian environment. However, without MMT-free fuel in Canada,
it is unlikely that these goals will be realized.
Mr. Ikuo Shimizu, President, Honda Canada: I am pleased to have the opportunity
today to address the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and
Natural Resources on the issue of Bill C-29.
At Honda, we are proud of our sensitivity to the environment and our record of
environmental performance. We continue to be leaders in design, development,
and sales of environmentally friendly automobiles and other products around the
In North America, since the 1970s, Honda products have led the way in exceeding
the standard of environmental performance and fuel efficiency. Throughout the
1980s, the range of advanced designed products continued. In the 1990s, Honda
was the first auto company to certify and produce
conventional-gasoline-fuelled, low-emission vehicles, so-called LEV.
Honda's world leadership in design and development of these advanced technology
vehicles has given us an insight into the problems that occur with the use of
In October 1994, Honda Canada submitted a confidential report to Environment
Canada and Transport Canada providing details of our concerns with the fuel
additive MMT. Since that time, we have been vocal in our support for the
availability of MMT-free fuel in the Canadian market to support the advanced
technology vehicles that we have already introduced.
Honda has concluded that the combustion products of MMT, mainly manganese
oxides, foul the oxygen sensors and the catalytic converters on vehicles,
reducing their ability to control and monitor the harmful exhaust emissions
that we have worked so hard to minimize.
My colleagues, in previous presentations, have exhibited their concerns about
the effect of manganese oxide on emission components. However, I should like to
show you one of our oxygen sensors fouled with manganese oxide. One sample
shows the healthy sensors after being for used 140,000 kilometres in the United
States; the other shows failed sensors after being used for 75,000 kilometres
At Honda, we pride ourselves on a superb engine management system. We gained our
expertise in our formula one engine technology and then brought that experience
through our environmental engineering group to ordinary drivers around the
world. However, we need properly functioning sensors to make systems work, and
MMT prevents that.
There has been the suggestion that, somehow, the auto companies have an
underlying motive for supporting the passage of Bill C-29. At Honda, there is
no underlying motive to hide. Our motive is clear: We are convinced that the
negative effect of MMT is indisputable, cumulative, and irreversible, and that
MMT will result in increased vehicle exhaust emissions, increased warranty and
consumer costs, as well as consumer dissatisfaction.
In the future, Honda wishes to maintain its position by introducing even cleaner
vehicles into the North American market. Unfortunately, due to fuel quality
issues, Honda will not be able to do so in Canada without assuming an increased
risk of emission system failures both during and after the warranty period.
As the President of Honda Canada, I am committed to bringing these leading-edge
emission technology vehicles to Canada for the 1998 model year and beyond. I
need your support to make MMT-free fuel available by passing this bill. The
time has come to take a definitive action to protect the Canadian environment
and the Canadian consumers by passing Bill C-29. Thank you for the opportunity
to address this committee.
Mr. Ernst Lieb, President, Mercedes-Benz Canada: I wish to echo some of my
colleagues' comments by providing Mercedes-Benz' views on the impact of MMT on
the vehicles we sell here in Canada.
Before I turn to that subject, however, I wish to emphasize how important it is
that this legislation be passed without delay so that MMT can finally be
eliminated from Canadian gasoline. It is no secret that air quality is a
significant problem in parts of Canada. The Quebec-Windsor corridor and the
Lower Fraser Valley are two areas where the problem is most acute.
Our industry has recognized that it has an important leadership role to play in
improving air quality and reducing smoke. Over the past decade, the automotive
sector has voluntarily introduced more stringent vehicle emissions systems on
automobiles sold in Canada. This technology is designed to reduce
smog-generating emissions from individual vehicles by 90 to 98 per cent. As a
result, the automotive sector is the only one in Canada to show a reduction in
emissions between the years 1985 and 2000.
Having invested billions of dollars in the development and introduction of
state-of-the-art emission control and diagnostic equipment in our vehicles, we
now face a situation in Canada where this technology cannot function properly
because of the presence of MMT in the Canadian fuel. This is an important issue
in relation to our customers who expect to get the full benefit of the
technology they pay for when they purchase a new vehicle.
It is also critical to our ability to meet the vehicle emission regulations
being proposed by Transport Canada for 1998 and those already in place in
British Columbia. These regulations were based on the assumption that MMT-free
fuel would be available for the consumer. They can be met, but only if MMT is
removed from the fuel.
Seen from an international perspective, the continued use of MMT in Canada
leaves this country out of step with the rest of the world. No other OECD
country allows MMT to be used on a national basis. Even in the United States,
where a technical ruling by the courts forced the Environmental Protection
Agency to grant a waiver to the Ethyl Corporation permitting the use of MMT,
this fuel additive is still prohibited in California and major American cities
where the U.S. Clean Air Act requires reformulated fuels.
The simple truth is that reducing vehicle emissions is a priority for
Mercedes-Benz introduced advanced emission control technology in 1994 which
continuously monitors the systems and alerts vehicle operators to a malfunction
within the system which requires vehicle servicing. However, we have determined
that MMT causes deposits within the emission control system leading to
premature elimination of the indicator lights. In Western Europe, our passenger
cars are equipped with similar exhaust emission technology, and in these markets
we do not experience emission-control-related consumer complaints due to MMT
For the 1998 model year, Mercedes-Benz Canada plans to introduce even more
advanced exhaust emissions technology to meet the B.C. regulations and the
proposed 1998 federal regulations. If MMT-free fuel is not available for these
vehicles, we may reluctantly find it necessary to deactivate the system to
avoid customer dissatisfaction.
Mr. Chairman, honourable senators, today is somewhat of an unusual day for us.
We are not accustomed to appearing before the Senate of Canada, let alone
together with all of our competitors from around the world. We hope, however,
that our attendance here and personal participation in the MMT issue helps to
make it clear how important this issue is for this industry.
This concludes our opening statements, and we hope that we will now be able to
answer all your questions about the impact of MMT on our vehicles and why it is
so vital that Bill C-29 be brought into force as soon as possible.
Mr. Owada: If you have any questions, we would be pleased to answer them.
The Chairman: I am sure we do. Domo arigato gozaimasu. We appreciate your
Senator Kinsella: Mr. Owada, at the bottom of page 3 of your presentation, you
state that you had an assurance from the Canadian government that MMT-free fuel
would be made available here in Canada. Is that your testimony?
Mr. Owada: Do I understand your question? Are we basing our emission devices on
MMT-free gas fuel?
Senator Kinsella: At the bottom of page 3, you state:
Our emission control systems are predicated upon the availability of MMT-free
fuel; which is the norm in the U.S.A. and throughout the world and which we
were assured by the Canadian government would be made available here.
I wish to ask you some questions about that statement.
Who gave you that assurance in the Government of Canada?
Mr. Owada: We only understood that we are to help, but I do not know who gave
the assurance to us.
Mr. Nakatani: As far as I understand the Canadian federal government, Transport
Canada, sets the standard of emission control for 1998 model year in the
condition of MMT-free gasoline. That is a Canadian government requirement or
In order to meet that standard set by Canadian federal government, all of us
have been working very hard.
Senator Kinsella: Is it now your testimony that you were not given this
assurance by any minister of the Government of Canada?
Mr. Don McArthur, President, Association of International Automobile
Manufacturers of Canada: Perhaps if we may call upon those who were doing the
negotiations with the federal government at the time. They have more specific
knowledge and would be happy to respond to that question.
Mr. Martin Ehmann, Manager Vehicle Compliance, Technical Operations, Toyoto
Canada Inc.: At the working group level, in the discussions for regulation
development, it was clear that MMT fuel would predicate this 1998 ruling on the
federal side. It was also very clear to British Columbia that, to continue
compliance to the total requirement in the long haul, MMT-free fuel would be
required. In fact, it is available in significant quantities in the British
Columbia lower Fraser Valley now.
Senator Kinsella: Did any minister of the Government of Canada give you this
Mr. Ehmann: I personally was not present at those meetings, sir.
Senator Kinsella: I will turn to another matter.
Mr. Nakatani, I am referring to your presentation at page 3, the third
paragraph, where you explain to the committee that you:
...became concerned that the manganese oxide deposits found on the oxygen
sensors may interfere with the emission control technology and the ability of
the on board diagnostic system to properly monitor the emission control
When did you come to that conclusion? I have read a document written on behalf
of the Government of Canada, dated July 19, 1994, by Mr. E. Crupi in the ASFBB.
This summarizes data recently submitted by... Toyota (July 13, 1994)...
The Government of Canada goes on to state in this memo:
Toyota has monitored the OBD II codes on 24 Canadian and 10 U.S. 1994 model year
vehicles to determine whether MMT has significantly impacted the capability of
the catalyst monitoring function in Canada. Toyota did not find any evidence
that false detections made by the catalyst-monitoring system occurred as a
result of using MMT.
These two statements seem to be at odds one with the other.
Senator Kenny: Can they have a copy of this document? Could we please know whose
initials are on it? Could it be circulated to the committee, please?
The Chairman: That would be appropriate. When you are finished with the
document, please distribute it.
Senator Kenny: It is hard to follow the question when he is quoting from a
document which I have not seen. I do not know whether other members have seen
it. I do not know what the ASFBB is. I do not know that organization within the
The Chairman: Finish your question and then we can get it.
Mr. Nakatani: In my statement today, I did not mention our testing of 1994
models. My report today is based on the same testing and the same timing as
what you quoted, senator. I should not say this, but I came to Canada 18 months
ago in July 1994. I was in Tokyo then. My technical staff Martin Ehmann will
explain about that.
Mr. Ehmann: The document you are referencing, senator, is actually a response to
something which happened a long time prior -- to be precise, in March 1993. At
that time, our initial research was rather limited on that particular engine
configuration and environmental technology. We had earlier introduced in 1994
and installed in late 1993, only in a selected few engine families, what we
consider to be an OBD-II system.
We approached Transport Canada and explained to them our serious concern. We
brought our photos and research and analogies. We were concerned that, perhaps,
the MIL light might be falsely triggered. We agreed to leave the MIL light off
temporarily but leave the monitoring functions in place and then conduct, early
in the 1994 model, a survey based on actual in-use vehicles.
That study was done at a very early time in the vehicle life, as you can
appreciate. It was done in 1994 for the 1994 model vehicles. Although we were
approaching the trigger of illuminating the MIL light, actually we had not done
so. However, our concerns continued because with vehicle age and mileage, we
expected problems in the future.
Since then, we have also conducted additional research which confirmed that, in
fact, it is a serious problem.
Senator Kinsella: This the question I was going to ask of the other witnesses,
Building on Senator Hays' question, when you engineers were designing the OBD
device, did they not take into consideration the fact that, in Canada, our fuel
is principally MMT-enhanced fuel?
Mr. Owada: At Nissan we believe we have one of the most developed technology in
the world for emission control. Through research and development we believe
that MMT will be out. That is my understanding.
Senator Kinsella: If your engineers knew that, for the Canadian market, their
OBD device would have to be able to cope with MMT-based fuel, they would have
factored that in their design, would they not?
Mr. Shimizu: First, when we certify our vehicles to Canadian emission
regulations, all tests will be done without MMT. The system is designed without
Senator Kinsella: Notwithstanding the fact that the fuel in Canada is MMT-based,
you are going to do your tests on MMT-free gasoline?
Mr. Shimizu: That is the basic requirement.
Mr. Lieb: The certification process is actually described by Transport Canada.
Transport Canada is the supplier of MMT-free fuel for certification. The
certification then measures the systems and basically ensures that all the
systems are working properly. There is certain mileage put on these cars and
again measurements are taken. Again, it is always done with MMT-free fuel
supplied by Transport Canada, by Canadian refineries.
When these cars finally go into operation with the customer, that is the first
time they are exposed to MMT. To design a system for MMT additive is
technically not possible. It was stated by our colleagues from North America
earlier and we all agree that it is technically not possible. We have been
facing this problem now for nearly 15 years. If I had a solution in the last two
years, I would have put it in place. There is no technical solution for this
The problem will become more severe when the 1998 model year comes on the market
which will happen with Mercedes-Benz in approximately two weeks. We will have a
car in Canada with OBD-II for the 1998 model year and there will be problems
with that. Technically there is no solution. The certification process actually
The Chairman: I should like to ask you a question which is fundamental to my
understanding of what is happening right now.
In Canada, as you know, there are nine or so premiers and all our environmental
departments other than a few are concerned about the situation that in Canada.
As you know, our major automobile people, a major sector of industry in our
country and our oil producers and refiners on the other side, are fighting with
each other. It is not what you want and it is not what they want.
Taking everything you have said to be the case as to all of the negative aspects
of MMT, it is my understanding that the oil industry has come forward and did
so last fall and said to the Department of the Environment and to the car
manufacturers, "Let's put a panel together. Let's examine the issue and if
it can be shown in any way that this MMT use is bad for the environment, or is
gumming up the diagnostics, that they will stop." They estimate that will
take three months.
All of our premiers or the eight or nine and our environmental ministers
involved, other than B.C. and Ontario, have supported that.
Why not accept it, do the work, get it finished and if what you say is true that
will be the end of it and they will stop and we will not need this ongoing
battle between two major industries in our country?
Why would you be opposed to this examination if you are so certain as to your
position, why would you not accept what our premiers and ministers across this
country are saying that they would like to have happen?
Mr. Lieb: We have to look at past years. This is not an issue which is suddenly
on the table and or one which we have been discussing for the last six months.
We have been discussing this for 15 years.
We have a memorandum of understanding signed in 1994 by the oil industry as well
as by the automotive industry which clearly said that the oil industry will
supply fuels which will allow us to fulfil the federal standard for emissions.
It is not there. This is now three years ago.
The Chairman: You might not have been here this morning, but they are saying
they are doing that. They are saying they are abiding by what that letter says.
Mr. Lieb: Then they have to supply us with MMT-free fuel and that is not the
The automobile industry is caught in a box here. On one side we have to come up
with a system which we all developed. We spent millions of dollars to get the
system up and running. It works in most of the world. Last year we produced
640,000 passenger cars outs of which 5,000 came to Canada. I have problems with
those 5,000. The other 635,000 do not give me problems in that particular
We have a system which has millions of dollars invested in it. We have a
certification process which is taking place according to the rules of Transport
Canada, with MMT-free fuel. We all pass certification with no problem at all.
As soon as the car goes on the road with the consumer we have warranty problems
and we will eventually have problems at the consumer end when the catalysts,
the sensors and other components fail.
We are supplying a certified car which fulfills ODB-II standards for 1998, but
as soon as this car, in Canada only, goes on the road we are faced with the
problem that the federal emission standards are not met. We cannot guarantee
it. This is our situation.
The Chairman: You still have not answered my question. I am accepting all of
that to be the case for the moment. I am not questioning your argument,
although there are others in this room who would.
I am merely asking why would you not accept the offer of the oil industry to
take the three months with Environment Canada, do the examination, when they
have said that they will stop if there is any evidence in this examination that
what you say is true? Why not do it?
Mr. Lieb: The situation for Mercedes-Benz is that by February 14 we are
introducing in this markets the first model year 1998 with OBD-II systems in
it. We heard the same from Chrysler earlier with the Windstar. We do not have
time for another three months. That is our situation. That is why we are
appearing and pointing out that all the research and warranties statistics
clearly indicates that MMT is giving us problems with our emissions.
The Chairman: Would you then respond so I understand your position as to what we
heard this morning from the oil companies when they suggested that they have
been trying since 1993 to have an examination of these issues dealt with so
that you could come to a conclusion and they have had no response from your
industry and your industry has refused to do so, as I understand their testimony
this morning. Would you respond to that?
Mr. McArthur: Mr. Chairman, I would like to go back to some earlier testimony
and that was in 1994.
At that time when we thought as an industry that we had reached a consensus with
the petroleum industry that they would provide the fuel that was required. That
is the reason why we have proceeded to manufacture cars that have the on-board
diagnostic system that will operate with MMT-free fuel.
We knew from the very beginning that it would not operate with MMT included in
The Chairman: Mr. McArthur, did that agreement refer to MMT?
Mr. McArthur: No, Mr. Chairman, it did not refer specifically to MMT. It did
refer to compatible fuel that would permit us to meet U.S. emission regulations
because we had agreed voluntarily as an industry that we would in fact meet the
U.S. requirements. That was by memo of understanding. It did not refer
specifically to MMT but it was recognized that the new system would not operate
effectively with MMT in the fuel. That was our understanding, and it was a very
The Chairman: I do not know that I have seen a copy of that memo. Maybe in all
this paper we received recently we have it. Do we have a copy?
Mr. McArthur: I think it is in that rather large box of material that you did
receive. I will undertake, Mr. Chairman, to get you a copy in any event so you
do not have to dig through the box.
Mr. Shimizu: Mr. Bryksaw from Honda Canada is familiar with the situation in
1994, so he is able to say something.
Mr. Glenn B. Bryksaw, Auto Compliance Co-ordinator, Honda Canada Inc.: In the
summer of 1994, we met with representatives of the petroleum industry to
discuss exactly this issue. We, in an in camera session, put all our cards on
the table. At that time, the auto industry provided all of the data, each
individual manufacturer presenting their results to the CPPI so that we were
showing independent data. In other words, General Motors would go in; they
would make a presentation. Then we would go in, and then Chrysler would go in,
followed by Ford. All of us did it independently.
There were three committee representatives that the CPPI hired to review this
data in an "impartial" committee. It was interesting to note that the
person on the committee who had a lot of experience in the auto industry agreed
with our findings. He said our data was thoroughly and easily definable and
understandable. The petroleum company representative agreed that there were no
data. The third person could not make his mind up.
We have had ongoing discussions with the Canadian Petroleum Producers Institute
for as long as I have been auto compliance coordinator, and we have gotten
nowhere. They will not acknowledge that there is any problem. We have presented
the data, as we have done with you, sir. We did it in in camera sessions
because we do not share our warranty data. It is definitely competitive. As far
as we are concerned, we have done all CPPI has asked us to do. They still
refuse to accept the situation.
Senator Carstairs: Earlier in today's session some of the witnesses were sitting
around admitting what vehicle they were driving. Just to make you feel a little
more comfortable, we are a two-Toyota family.
That is obviously not the area of my inquiries.
This 1994 date seems to me very critical. When you were at that point beginning
your tests for your OBD-II, they were being conducted, I have heard, minus MMT
fuel. Were the oil companies aware of that at that time? Did they know you were
going through all this evaluation process with fuel that did not contain MMT?
Mr. McArthur: Senator, if I may respond, this was a prerequisite for the testing
process, both for the initial evaluation and for subsequent driving tests and
evaluation thereafter. This was not our requirement; this was a federal
government requirement. Perhaps I should not assume but I believe it certainly
was public knowledge.
Senator Carstairs: It was public knowledge that you were testing this equipment,
and you were testing it with fuel that did not have MMT in it. The oil industry
presumably knew that at the time they were signing this memorandum of
understanding. Even though it does not say so specifically, surely there is the
implication that the fuel would not have MMT in it at the time you were bringing
these OBD-IIs on stream.
Mr. McArthur: That is correct.
Senator Carstairs: My second area of questioning has to do with your experience
outside Canada. Obviously Mercedes-Benz is a perfect example with 640,000
vehicles, only 5,000 of which come to Canada. Do you put these OBD-IIs in all
your vehicles, no matter where those vehicles are being developed, produced,
and manufactured? If you do not, why do you not? If you do, is the Canadian
market the only one in which you are running into problems?
Mr. Lieb: This particular problem is only happening here in Canada. We have more
data, which are confidential and I do not share them with anyone, but they
clearly indicate to us that we have problems with certain components of OBD-II
in Canada. That is clearly due to MMT additives.
I cannot speak for the whole production but I can tell you that in Europe,
mainly in Germany where we sell about 250,000 to 280,000 units of the 640,000,
we do have the same systems, and we do not experience this problem. We have
MMT-free fuel there. We do not have additives in Germany. The actual
fuel-refining process is different and therefore additives are not necessary.
Mr. Shimizu: May I add something? We are selling the same system in the United
States, Japan and our major markets. As Mr. Lieb said, basically we have no
experience in other markets areas. In the last year in the United States, for
instance, we sold almost 800,000 cars with the system and we have not had a
problem. It is a situation unique to Canada.
Senator Whelan: Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to take long. I am almost in a
state of shock to find out that we are an island in the gasoline-user world. We
are the only OECD country, if I understood the evidence here correctly, that
uses MMT. I am a new member of this committee but I find the questions being
asked here ridiculous, asinine, unbelievable, as is the insinuation that MMT is
somehow good. There has not been a thing presented to me that shows that is so,
in all the material I have read and from the doctors and other people to whom I
have spoken. This was discussed when I was in government at one time. I am
sorry we are taking up your time. That is all I have to say.
If you see me leave, it is not because I am bad. It is because I have two other
meetings to attend and I am late for one by half an hour.
Senator Spivak: As I mentioned to the last delegation, one person who appeared
before us suggested that the reason they are opposed to getting rid of MMT was
that they thought it would set a terrible precedent. That does not square with
the fact that in 1994 they signed this memorandum of understanding to supply
Which is their real attitude? I think they probably understand what MMT is doing
to your diagnostics systems, but they have another reason, and they told us
point blank this morning what it is. What is the real attitude?
Mr. Lieb: We have to assume that they just do not want to do it and their
reasons are financially driven. There will be investment necessary. I am not in
the oil industry, but that is what I am reading and hearing so I have to assume
that is the reason.
Senator Spivak: They also told us they could switch over in 24 hours, which I
assume is because they are already producing a certain amount of MMT-free fuel.
Mr. Lieb: If the bill takes another two weeks, they may have to do that.
Senator Spivak: The presentation by Mercedes-Benz says that the automotive
industry is the only one to show a reduction in emissions. We heard in
California, too, about the reduction of certain kinds of emissions by 90 per
cent and 98 per cent.
If this were working properly, those emissions would decrease even more. As
everyone knows, Canada is in violation of its promise to reduce its emissions,
and it is in violation by about 13 per cent.
Will proper use of these new diagnostic systems reduce emissions and the impact
on climate change in North America?
Mr. Lieb: Definitely. I cannot answer in terms of percentages. General Motors
gave some detailed numbers earlier.
Senator Spivak: We were also told this morning by the oil companies that if they
got rid of MMT there would be an increase in sulphur. Therefore, what would the
balance be in terms of emissions? What might the overall impact on emissions
from both stationary and mobile sources be?
Mr. Ehmann: I am not equipped to speak about the stationary sources, but I would
be glad to respond on the automobile side.
It is evident to us that the numbers given earlier are real. The 98-per-cent
reduction in hydrocarbons since the pre-regulated 1970s is very real. We
continue to intend to meet more stringent standards which will further reduce
emissions, whether of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide or oxides of nitrogen.
Continuing to have fuel which is unreliable to our new technology will only
hinder those further achievements.
Senator Spivak: Will the decrease in these emissions have an impact on climate
Mr. Ehmann: Of course it will. If we are discussing global warming and total
pollution, then we are talking carbon dioxide and the answer is yes. It will
further reduce carbon dioxide. If we can further reduce emission output through
high technology and recognition that fuel and system is part of the same
equation, then we can achieve higher protection.
Senator Spivak: You only mentioned three emissions. Are hydrocarbons carbon
Mr. Ehmann: No. Hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen are the
three primary pollutants we are mandated to control. However, the total exhaust
emissions convert to carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, and I
believe Canada is in violation of that.
Senator Buchanan: I was interested in the comments by most of you that your new
OBD-II systems using MMT-free gasoline will decrease smog-forming emissions. If
that is the case, why has Alberta said just the opposite? Alberta has indicated
that it will increase greenhouse gases and NOx. Nova Scotia has said the same
thing; that there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate any problems
environmentally, but that there is much evidence to indicate that NOx emissions
will increase if MMT is not in gasoline. New Brunswick has said the same thing,
as have Saskatchewan, Quebec and Manitoba. I did not get a chance to go through
all the others.
They all indicate clearly in their letters that one of the reasons they oppose
this bill is that the emissions are significant contributors to ground-level
ozone and a major transboundary pollutant. Most of them say that if MMT is
eliminated, there will be an increase of between 8 per cent and 20 per cent.
The Ethyl consultants say it would be about 20 per cent. CPPI says it would be
about an 8-per-cent increase in NOx. If there is an increase in NOx, how can
there be a decrease in smog in those areas where MMT is not used?
Mr. Bricksaw: With regard to the 20 per cent reduction which has been quoted so
regularly, an assessment has been made by a solid and reputable group of
statisticians at the University of Waterloo who have studied the Ethyl data.
They have concluded independently that there is no statistical basis for making
those sorts of claims.
The analysis that was done was clearly flawed. It was pointed out to us by the
University of Waterloo statisticians that there was not a proper justification
for that data with regard to mobile source emissions.
As auto manufacturers, we know that we could reduce NOx. It is very simple for
us to do that. If you understand the balancing act that is done, you try to run
a vehicle at the very fine tight control point. You have three regulated
pollutants to worry about and it is a trade-off between those three; NOx on one
side and hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide on the other. You cannot optimize all
three other than at the point right in the middle. If you shift that point to
get oxides of nitrogen lower, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide go up.
When the OBD-II system is functioning properly, it is an on-board inspection and
maintenance. It tells the customer that there is a problem with the vehicle and
it must be repaired. If that system is not functioning properly, that vehicle
will be emitting more of everything. It will burn more fuel; it will create
more CO2 emissions; it will create more hydrocarbon emissions and it will create
more CO. Our data says that what it does to NOx is about equal. That is where
Senator Buchanan: The 20-per-cent figure that I used was one figure. The CPPI
used the figure of 8 per cent. Are you saying that it is not even 8 per cent,
that it is less?
Mr. Brickshaw: I do not know from where the 8 per cent came. I do not know
whether or not it was based on the same data that was provided from the
original study. The University of Waterloo clearly stated that there was such
variability in the test results that the amount of improvement or reduction in
NOx was well within the variability of the data. You could not make that
categorical statement based upon the data that they looked at. That was a clear
indication to us that this is not a valid assessment based on the data.
Senator Buchanan: Even some of the automobile manufacturers indicate that "there
is no disagreement that MMT does in fact reduce NOx emissions." The oil
companies and the automobile manufacturers say that.
Mr. Brickshaw: I just made that point. We could reduce the NOx by shifting the
point. But we create hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and more CO2 because we burn
more fuel. It is simple. We could do it, but you are asking us to do something
that we cannot do because the regulations say that you must keep all three of
those emissions below certain levels.
Senator Buchanan: What regulations?
Mr. Brickshaw: The emissions regulations.
Mr. Shimizu: The MMT affects this and they affect the whole system. Eventually,
they will generate more emissions in the long run.
Senator Rompkey: Would the witness like to comment on the position of the
provinces and why they took the position that they did?
Mr. Brickshaw: I am not in a position to make a judgment on their opinions. I am
rather surprised at their opinions, based on the fact that the CCME has come
out and endorsed the 1998 emission standards. I do not understand how these
provincial bodies could go against their own environment ministers.
Senator Buchanan: But eight of the environment ministers are the ones who
started the whole discussion on MMT being barred and two of them did not.
Mr. Brickshaw: I do not understand how they could say one thing at one time and
another thing at another time.
Senator Buchanan: It is easy sometimes.
Mr. Brickshaw: I am sorry. I do not understand that.
Mr. Lieb: Basically, the statement is that if you have a reduction in NOx, at
the same time you will have a significant increase in hydrocarbons.
Senator Spivak: It is politics.
Senator Buchanan: I do not know what you meant by saying that it is politics
because it is not.
Senator Spivak: They take two different positions at the same time.
Senator Buchanan: You are not talking about party politics.
Senator Spivak: I am just saying that it is politics.
Senator Rompkey: Were the provinces basing their position upon the Ethyl study?
Mr. Brickshaw: I do not know what the justification was.
Senator Taylor: It is a trade issue.
Senator Buchanan: That is one of the issues but as I understand it, eight of the
environment ministers, along with the Yukon, indicated very clearly at their
last conference that they oppose the passage of this bill.
The Chairman: No. I think not, senator. As I understand their position, they
wish the oil companies to cooperate with the automobile industry to do the
Senator Buchanan: Yes, but they oppose the passage of this bill at the present
time until that is done.
Senator Taylor: That is because of trade.
The Chairman: In fairness, I think we can have these internal debates among
Mr. Nakatani: Sometimes it is difficult for Japanese businessmen working in this
country to properly understand the relationship between the responsibility of
the federal government and the provincial government.
Senator Carstairs: It is difficult for ordinary Canadians, too.
Mr. Nakatani: At the same time, I must understand that each province can have
their own opinions because of the situation in which they are located. However,
on national issues related to the environment, or people with health, the
federal government should take the initiative, regardless of the different
opinions of the provinces.
The Chairman: You must understand that the federal government has chosen not to
make this an environment bill. It has chosen to make it a trade bill. If the
federal government had come by with the environmental act and banned it or
taken that position, that would be one thing. It has not done that. They have
taken it as a trade bill. As a result, our jurisdictions that have the authority
of internal trade and trade across our country do not feel that is appropriate.
You are in the middle of a jurisdictional situation as well. That is Canada and
that is what makes us so wonderful.
Senator Rompkey: Senator Landry put it best. He said that the auto industry
should have consulted a constitutional expert before appearing here.
The Chairman: With that, I wish to thank you again for being with us today and
for providing us with such useful information.