Since the preindustrial era, the world’s temperature has been increasing gradually. With extreme urbanization and industrialization, human activity has become the main cause of the high concentration of greenhouse gases. Therefore, experts and professionals are promoting alternative energy sources for vehicles. However, as mentioned by Ajay Banga, Mastercard CEO, in a 2013 Ted Talk,  “An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport. Or bicycles.” Increasing the use of bicycles as a primary means of transportation can not only improve air quality and alleviate traffic problems but also improve people’s health.

To help islanders make healthier, cleaner transport choices, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) has been actively developing strategies and funding to support active transportation. On February 24th, 2022, Darlene Compton, Finance Minister of P.E.I., announced in the 2022-23 provincial budget that each bike and e-bike sold in PEI will receive a $100 and $500 rebate respectively, to encourage active transportation and active living. The rebate program is planned to begin this summer.

To encourage healthy living, the province is offering a $100 rebate on the purchase of a new bicycle. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

However, the Greens of P.E.I. are calling for an early implementation of the bike rebate scheme. They hope that the islanders can enjoy the rebate and become contributors to the green environment as soon as possible. On March 11th, 2022, Hannah Bell, Green MLA in P.E.I., mentioned in the question period that “We know that government can move faster on announced programs if they really want to do so. And perhaps if you talked to the vendors before you announced the program, then you wouldn’t be having quite so many hiccups.” While Bell believed the government could speed up the implementation process of the bike rebate program, Steven Myers, Environment Minister of P.E.I, stated that there was little he could do as the budget had yet to pass.

With the announcement of the rebate program, retailers are both excited and worried. The program can definitely boost their sales; however, they are worried about not being able to benefit during the rebate period due to the shortage of spare parts. Bell raised the issue that “Some are looking at bikes that may not be in stock until this fall.” In order to appease the worries of the masses, Myers explained that this is a “long-term rebate program” that hopes to benefit every islander in the province.

Alysha Leung

Alysha is a final year undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she moved to Canada to pursue a BA in International Relations with a minor in Geography (Environment and Sustainability). Alysha has a strong interest in global issues, environmental policies and ESG. In the near future, she would like to pursue a Master's degree in Urban Planning with the aim of creating a sustainable and greener world for future generations.

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