Premier must scrap Liberal eco-taxes, recycling bureaucracy

June 5, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris called on the Premier to meet the Ontario PC Party’s demands to scrap eco-taxes and eliminate useless recycling agencies before tabling a new waste diversion bill this week at Queen’s Park.

“Ever since the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals cooked up a scheme to impose eco-taxes on hardworking Ontarians in 2008, the Ontario PC Party has been demanding that this unfair taxation system be dismantled. But for years, several high-ranking Liberals have continued to defend this scheme, including the Premier who said in April that eco-taxes are just ‘the cost of dealing with waste,” Harris said shortly after question period.

“The Premier’s stance on eco-taxes is unacceptable. That’s why the Ontario PCs are calling on her today to change course by meeting our demand to eliminate eco-taxes and to include our ideas for improving Ontario’s recycling rate in any future plans.”

For more than a decade, the Liberals have ignored the largest source of waste in Ontario: the industrial, commercial and institutional sector. As a result, the recycling rate for this sector since 2002 has declined from 19% to 12%.

“The Liberal government needs to understand that recycling valuable materials, like plastics, glass and metals collected at factories, malls and public buildings means less pollution and more economic activity in Ontario’s recycling marketplace,” Harris said. “That’s why our Party is calling on the government to immediately set enforceable targets to keep these materials out of Ontario’s landfills.

Harris also noted that the Ontario PCs expect the Premier to get rid of the government’s useless recycling watchdog, Waste Diversion Ontario, as well as the government’s overly bureaucratic recycling cartels, Ontario Electronic Stewardship and Ontario Tire Stewardship.

“Since we launched our plan to reform Ontario’s recycling programs last November, we have been very clear that government should return to its role as a regulator and the private sector should have the ability to freely operate in the marketplace for recyclable materials,” Harris said. “Under our system, government would set measurable and achievable recycling targets for businesses, establish environmental standards and monitor outcomes. That’s it.”