Reevely: Ontario's loss on Tesla rebates shows hazard of governing by B.S.

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, August 28, 2018

Doug Ford’s Tories are learning that turning half-made-up bluster into real government policy often goes badly.

An Ontario judge has found that the Progressive Conservatives made Tesla a special target in their attack on green subsidies and treated the electric carmaker unfairly when they killed a rebate program for buyers after taking office.

The government arbitrarily made decisions that had no justification under any existing law, and “singled out Tesla for reprobation and harm without (providing) Tesla any opportunity to be heard or any fair process whatsoever,” Judge Frederick Myers of Ontario Superior Court found. Government ministers have a lot of executive authority, but they need to use it for legitimate purposes.

The judge quashed a transition program that gave buyers of other electric cars, but not Teslas, until Sept. 10 to finish their transactions and get rebates of as much as $14,000 for their environmentally friendlier vehicles. The government can absolutely end the rebate program, he emphasized. But it constructed the temporary extension to beat up one company, and it can’t do that.

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