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ANCHOR: 25 years later, why hasn’t this Canadian’s clean,
green, hydrogen fuel machine taken over the roads?

Drive a hybrid? Think you’re pretty smart? Well your vehicle
may be fuel efficient but as far as ahead of the curve? Sorry,
that prize goes to Greg Vezina. Twenty-five years ago he
found fame by getting his Chevy Impala to run on something
he called "hydro-fuel". So what happened to Vezina and his
Chevy? In tonight’s checking in Piya Chattopadhyay finds out.

REPORTER: Greg Vezina fancies himself a man ahead of the
times, and he was, twenty-five years ago. He retrofitted his
1981 Chevy Impala into a car for the future, fueled by what
Vezina named "hydrofuel" – essentially ammonia which is a
mix of hydrogen with a little nitrogen. The exhaust was clean
and it was cheaper to run his car on hydrofuel than on

The Energy Minister of the day took it for a spin, he said he
liked it, so did the Governor General. All in all Vezina thought
he had a winner.

VEZINA: Within five years, assuming the government
attitude towards the technology was proper, it would be
available to the consumers.

REPORTER: Fast-forward to today.

VEZINA: Here’s the fuel of the future. Twenty-five years of
rust on it.

REPORTER: Vezina’s vehicle sits idle. It still starts and
Vezina still believes it’s the cure for the world’s energy woes.
But he says shortly after his appearance on Parliament Hill
back in 81’ interest in his idea all but disappeared. Vezina
speculates it’s because the government owned Petro-Canada
so there wasn’t much political will to develop alternative

VEZINA: What do I say? You know you can be right, but you
gotta wait for history. And that’s basically what happened to
us, we were right but history wasn’t ready, the world wasn’t

REPORTER: Today nearly every major car maker is working
on alternative fuel technologies, predicting consumers will be
driving vehicles entirely powered by those technologies as
early as six years from now. But many analysts say it will be
many more years, perhaps as many as thirty, before
hydrogen run cars will be clogging our highways because the
technology is still so expensive.

EXPERT: There’s not enough money to support all of this
development that’s required and thus there is a viable role for
government to come in and support some of these initiatives
to try to kick start them to keep them going.

REPORTER: As for Greg Vezina, he’s thinking of once again
kick starting his project. Twenty-five years on he says the
dream is still alive and it may be time to go back to the future
– again. CBC News Toronto.

VEZINA: Alright so there we go. So we came about as close
as you can get to actually accomplishing something and then
reality stepped in. And the reality of the situation is that
politicians don’t do what’s right, they do what’s expedient and
that’s just the way it is.

So what happened to Greg Vezina? Well I decided to go start
the Green Party of Canada. And the guy that was on the
National News three weeks before couldn’t even get on local
cable 10 because the broadcasters are in on it with the
politicians. So we prosecuted the broadcasters all the way to
the Supreme Court of Canada for not letting us on TV and ten
years later lost our case on a technicality. But in the
meantime my wife Kathy and I, we were very successful in
business and we had enough money to produce two Leaders’
debates that ran for two hours in prime time in two elections
- because the only thing the broadcasters care about more
than their deals with politicians is money. And they like

And then we wrote a book about proportional representation
and electoral reform in Canada that was sponsored by Frank
Stronach, the chairman of Magna International, probably one
of the largest auto parts companies in the world. That was in
93’ and we managed ten years later to convince the present
Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, the then opposition
leader, to have a referendum (the first referendum in Ontario
in almost one hundred years) on electoral reform. And that
election was held on October 10th and the Green Party didn’t
win a single seat and the Liberals got a great, big, fat
majority on 40% of the vote, the referendum failed.

But that doesn’t matter because the only reason we did all
that was so that we could talk about ammonia, and thanks to
John and Norm we’re here anyway! So let’s take a minute
and talk about the realities.