Ecojustice Blog – Healthy communities Posted on August 3, 2017 (updated: August 3, 2017)

Volkswagen lied, and we’re going to court

Devon PageLawyer
Automobile_exhaust_gas Photo by Ruben de Rijcke
Photo by Ruben de Rijcke

You better take a seat, we have big news to share – of a drive-by crime.

Today, Ecojustice lawyers launched a lawsuit to force the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna to investigate Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating in Canada.

As you might remember, in September 2015, the world learned that Volkswagen had knowingly an installed illegal emissions-cheating “defeat device” in its diesel cars.  That software acts like a secret on/off switch for legal compliance, by turning the cars’ pollution control equipment on in the laboratory, but off when driven on the open road, so that the cars spew up to 35 times the approved level of deadly nitrogen oxides into the air.

Since then, other countries have moved swiftly to hold the company to account. Volkswagen plead guilty and will pay a US $15 billion settlement in the United States.

But we have yet to see such decisive action in Canada. For nearly two years, Canadian law enforcers have dragged their feet, and have yet to commit to prosecuting Volkswagen’s criminal activity — despite the opportunity to piggyback off of the completed U.S. investigation.

We could not stand by and watch our government let this company off the hook.

In taking zero enforcement action, the Canadian government is leaving billions of dollars that could be used to improve electric car infrastructure on the table. It flies in the face of what our government says it stands for – protecting the environment, fiscal responsibility, and improving Canada’s infrastructure.

Volkswagen cheated the public and put the health of Canadians at-risk. It’s time for Canada’s government to punish them with the full force of the criminal law, rather than give them a free pass. Plain and simple.

We’re taking the Minister to court to force her to live up to her obligation to protect Canadians, the environment, and enforce the law. But we can’t do it without you.

Please donate today, and help us make sure Volkswagen pays for its environmental crimes.

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Thanks to the support of people like you, Ecojustice goes to court to protect what we value most — the air, land and water that sustains all life. Make your gift today and support bold litigation for a brighter environmental future.

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