The Guide to Electric Vehicles: Everything you ever wanted to know about the electric car

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guide to electric cars

 

  • Electric driving: is it really greener?
  • Are electric cars really more expensive?
  • Can you use electric cars in the winter?

If you’ve been wondering about these questions and others about the EV, wonder no more. Former Quebec Environment Minister, Daniel Breton and Canadian Motosport Hall of Famer and Canada’s top automobile expert for 50 years, Jacques Duval answer these questions and much more.

The Guide to Electric, Hybrid and Fuel-Efficient Cars is surely the most definitive and complete go-to resource for EVs in North America, with special attention to Quebec winters. Eighty-five vehicles are reviewed along with everything you need to know about going electric. With more than 285 photos this is the only source anyone interested in exploring EVs will need to quench their thirst for information in the fast-growing segment of green transportation.

The guide, published by Juniper Publishing, is laid out in an easy to read format, covering one hundred percent Electric, Plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) or an electric car with a range extender, Hybrid battery, Energy efficient  and Hydrogen cars. The manual gives a clear and concise rating on everything ranging from greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption, smog rating and price.

kia-soul-ev-2016

The guide is interesting and entertaining to read looking back at EVs over the past two century (yes, the first EV actually dates back to the first half of the 1800s). It also takes a look at electric trams (Montreal was a leader dating back to the 1930s) and buses.

As a new EV owner I can attest to the usefulness of this guide and wish I had purchased a copy a year ago. For the uninitiated it can be a daunting task to figure out the new jargon and terminology around EVs. I don’t want to learn how to disassemble and rebuild a car, I only wanted to understand what I needed to know about buying a plug in. This book does the trick with ease.

What’s more, this is no industry rag or advertorial that paints a rosy picture on each and every car. Breton and Duval do a masterful job at spelling out the good, the bad and the ugly on each of the 85 vehicles they covered: What to consider and what to stay away from.

My new 2017 Chevy Volt parked in Westmount

My new 2017 Chevy Volt parked in Westmount

The authors also hand out medals for their top picks in each type of technology. Finally, there is a section detailing rebates, tax breaks, government benefits and shortcomings across the Canadian provinces and United States.

Thanks Daniel and Jacques for putting together an excellent resource guide. It was fun to read and I’m more knowledgeable o this exciting subject.

The Guide to Electric, Hybrid and Fuel-Efficient Cars is published by Juniper Publishing and available online and in store. I’ve seen it at Walmart. Ask for it at your public library or visit EV.guide.

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National Post Full Comment: Throwing around Quebec’s c-word

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Dan Delmar: Throwing around Quebec’s c-word

National Post | 13/05/07 |

One of the most offensive words in the Québécois lexicon is “colonisé.”

Also abbreviated as “colon” (not the organ, it’s a soft N), it is an adjective hurled at those who have been metaphorically “colonized” by their embrace of the English language.

It’s a word that is used among Francophones casually, in private. In public, it typically is used only by fringe ultra-nationalists, a few rabid radio talk-show hosts, and, last week, an elected member of Quebec’s National Assembly.

In a debate about Bill 14, a language law that might be described as the ugly stepchild of Bill 101, Parti Québécois MNA Daniel Breton objected to Liberals speaking English in the legislature — even though the practice is perfectly permissible, and is done on occasion when legislators are dealing with matters pertaining to Anglo Quebecers.

“I would like to highlight that elected members of the official opposition in the National Assembly expressed themselves in English on the subject of Bill 14, a law on the French language,” Breton said in the legislature (speaking in French, of course). “You might have the right, but it shows to what point you are ‘colonisés.’”

The statement is offensive for a number of reasons. And it shows that Breton knows less about Canadian history than the average high school student.

Francophones were, of course, the colonizers. The true “colonisés” were Aboriginals. Despite the popular myths of ultra-nationalists such as Breton, and their claims to victimhood, Francophones in Canada are not an indigenous people.

Breton’s comments also are consistent with retrograde PQ policies (including Bill 14 itself) that cast multilingualism as a threat to Quebec’s identity, and unilingualism as a mark of true Québécois patriotism.

This is hardly the first time that Breton has attracted controversy. He had a brief stint as Quebec’s environment minister, which ended when it was revealed that he called up the head of Quebec’s public consultation bureau to make it clear that the agency would hear from him if he wasn’t satisfied with their decisions.

To describe a fellow Quebecer as “colonisé” is more than just a cheap insult. It’s a Québécois species of McCarthyism

Breton also was found guilty of three counts of fraud for making false EI declarations in 1988. The co-founder of Quebec’s Green Party, he once was caught speeding in a Porsche at 275km/h. This is the man whom the PQ has chosen to defend one of the most controversial bills in the party’s history.

If the PQ were a normal political party, his behaviour in the National Assembly alone would be enough to have him removed from caucus. He is not fit to represent Quebecers, sovereignists or otherwise.

If the PQ wants to repair its credibility, Premier Pauline Marois must rid her party of those who contribute to hateful, regressive rhetoric. To describe a fellow Quebecer as “colonisé” is more than just a cheap insult. It’s a Québécois species of McCarthyism, and a sad example of how fringe separatist elements are impeding tolerance between Quebec’s two main language communities.

 

Dan Delmar is the co-founder of Provocateur Communications and the co-host of Delmar & Dwivedi on CJAD 800 Montreal.

Housefather and Roy defend English-speaking cities

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Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather and Town of Mount Royal Mayor Philippe Roy appeared before the Quebec National Assembly hearings into Bill 14 this morning.  They did a stellar job at defending the acquired rights of the English-speaking communities residing in 86 bilingual municipalities and boroughs throughout the province.

The snarky language minister Diane de Courcy pressed the mayors on why they hadn’t consulted their residents (in a referendum) as to whether or not they wished to have bilingual status, suggesting the mayors spoke emotionally and not based in fact.  Such chutzpah and warped logic, to poll the majority on the rights of the minority, is to be expected from the narrow-minded PQ.  A testy liberal MNA Geoff Kelley shot back that the PQ themselves hadn’t consulted the population before they wiped out these two cities through forced mergers.  His microphone was abruptly shut off for being too smart.  Way to go Geoff!

“It concerns me that you haven’t consulted your residents,” de Courcy asked of Housefather.  “And, you haven’t consulted other areas, such as Cote des Neiges-NDG, that would probably vote to acquire bilingual status,” a very wise Housefather retorted.

Housefather went on to press his point.  “In some countries, bilingual status is obligatory in municipalities where 5% of the city’s population is a minority community. Nowhere, other than Quebec, is it prohibited to have bilingual status unless the minority forms the majority,” the mayor quipped, in reference to Bill 14’s provision that a city would lose its bilingual status if its minority language population fell below 50%.

When asked what he would propose as a way to make Bill 14 acceptable to municipalities, Housefather responded he was not prepared to negotiate away fundamental rights.  Roy stated that the autonomy of city councils must be respected as they are closest to the people, best placed to represent its residents.

While PQ MNA Daniel Breton spoke in exclusionary and divisive language the mayors described their towns as inclusive, where respect and equality prevail, as should be the case with all Quebecers.  “What do you propose we do for immigrants to make Bill 14 better?” the MNA asked.  Housefather replied, “If my parents moved to Quebec with me in the 20s, if I’ve used English as my preferred language for 90 years, and if I’m now excluded from your calculation as to who is an English-speaking Quebecer, you’re draft law is unfair!”

Housefather explained that there are three ways of classifying language in the census: mother tongue, language used at home and preferred language.  Bill 14 chooses the most restrictive classification: mother tongue.  A Quebecer is branded by the language of his or her mother, effectively reducing the English-speaking community in Quebec by nearly 300,000 individuals.

D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman was next to speak.  He said that is all of his years in elected office he had never received so many calls from constituents as he did for this bill, except against the forced mergers.  He read a letter from a local English-speaking resident of Italian origin who wrote that his family chose to live in Cote Saint-Luc because of its welcoming, bilingual environment.  None of his family are considered as English-speaking in this legislation.

Housefather too said he had not seen such fierce opposition to a draft bill, save for the mergers, in his 17 years in city hall.  Bill 14 scares English-speaking people, he said.  The message of the bill, Housefather said, is that English-speaking people are not respected.  “You’re a problem,” the bill tells us.  “We’ve evolved.  We’re bilingual.  We built our city, and we’ve been a majority in it for years!” the mayor told the commission.

The CAQ member, Nathalie Roy was only partially opposed to the bill, unfortunately.  “The CAQ doesn’t want bilingual status to be touched.  Cities need to be able to decide for themselves.  This is an acquired right of the minority community,” the MNA said.  She then asked Housefather what would happen if the bill passed?

“There would be chaos,” Housefather asserted.  “Either the city would refuse to obey the law and would fight it in court or you’d have citizens in the streets,’ the mayor concluded. “It would change daily life, the way we live.”

Thankfully the English-speaking community was represented by such fine individuals such as Housefather and Roy.  They spoke with passion and conviction and although I’m confident that bilingual status provisions of the french language charter will remain unchanged it remains to be seen if Bill 14 will be scrapped in it entirety and deposited in the trash bin of of oppressive Quebec legislative history where it rightfully belongs.