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Liberals attempt to mislead public on eco-tax system they built

April 5, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s Environment Minister has been speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the recent eco-tax fiasco, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

“The Minister now claims he has no idea why there are eco-taxes when he personally signed off on massive fee hikes for electronics and tires earlier this year,” Harris said. “To hear the Minister make these claims now is not only laughable, it’s completely dishonest. Ontarians deserve better from their government.”

Environment Minister Jim Bradley approved exorbitant new eco-tax increases for the Liberals’ tire recycling program  earlier this year by writing the new fee-setting rules into regulation .

He then approved huge eco-tax hikes  for the Liberals’ e-waste program by telling the government’s recycling agency, Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) , it could pass excessive new costs onto consumers by amending its program plan.

“These plans have to be approved by the Environment Minister before they can be implemented,” Harris said. “So I think it’s quite disingenuous for the Environment Minister to now be out blaming industry for implementing the eco-tax programs his government created.

“The Minister knows full well that his government’s regulations force manufacturers and importers of tires and electronics to register with and pay fees to the Liberals’ recycling agencies. And it’s the Liberals who then allow retailers to pass these costs onto consumers at the cash register in the form of an eco-tax.

“Hearing the Environment Minister talk about the need to now overhaul the Waste Diversion Act is quite rich because it was his government that used this piece of legislation to create massive new bureaucracy and taxation powers by introducing three more recycling programs . The truth is that the Waste Diversion Act was introduced to create a more stable funding formula for the Blue Box program,” Harris concluded. “It was the Liberals who then used it to create eco-taxes in 2008.”

The PC Party announced last November that it would abolish the government’s toothless watchdog, Waste Diversion Ontario , and eliminate the Liberals’ recycling programs .

“Government needs to return to its role as a regulator and leave recycling to the free-market,” Harris said. “Ontario consumers should not be paying eco-taxes to fund excessive Liberal-created bureaucracy.”