Liberals trying to hide eco-taxes from Ontarians with Bill 91

October 11, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – In a sleight of hand, the Liberals claim they’re taking steps to meet the Ontario PC Caucus’s demands to scrap eco-taxes, but all they’re really doing is forcing businesses to bury these expensive levies in the cost of their products or to display them on price tags instead of receipts, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

“It’s insulting to the intelligence of Ontarians that the Liberals actually think they can pull the wool over our eyes by claiming they’re getting rid of eco-taxes when they’re really just attempting to hide them from consumers,” Harris said.

“It is simply a shell game to say that moving an eco-tax from a consumer’s receipt to the price tag on the store shelf makes it disappear. The Liberals should have more respect for the hardworking men and women who are forced to pay these taxes when they’re shopping at their local supermarket or department store.”

The Liberal government’s Waste Reduction Act, which the Environment Minister tabled in the Legislature on June 6, continues every single one of the Liberals’ eco-tax programs, including: the e-waste program, the tire-tax program and the Orange Drop program for household hazardous materials, like paint cans, batteries and oil filters.

“The Minister claims he’ll wind down these programs in five years from now, but we all know that Liberal promises on taxes are never kept. In the meantime, Ontario consumers will still pay an eco-tax when they buy an iPod, a TV, a pack of batteries or a new set of tires,” Harris said. “If Bill 91 passes, the only difference will be that eco-taxes will be hidden from consumers or displayed on price tags on store shelves instead of receipts.”

The Liberals continue imposing eco-taxes on Ontarians as a way to increase the size and power of the government’s recycling agency, Waste Diversion Ontario, which would be renamed the Waste Reduction Authority, if the government’s bill passes.

However, for five long years, this unaccountable organization, with the approval of the Minister, rubber stamped a series of exorbitant eco-tax hikes, including a 2,000% jump in farm-tire taxes last April and an increase on big screen TVs in May this year, bringing the levy to $40.