Liberals plan to shift Blue Box costs off tax bill onto shopping bill

December 3, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberals remain more focused on using Bill 91 to increase costs for Ontario consumers than presenting a real plan to make Ontario’s Blue Box program more effective and affordable, PC Environment Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

Right now, municipalities and businesses split the costs of the Blue Box program 50/50. Municipalities raise their share through property taxes while businesses pass their share on to consumers as part of the cost of products that are packaged in recyclable plastics, metals and cardboard.

“Even though Blue Box costs have steadily increased over the years, the Liberals have failed to present a plan that would reduce costs for Ontarians and would ensure the program’s long-term financial stability,” Harris said. “Instead, they’ve tabled Bill 91, which would only shift recycling costs off of Ontarians’ tax bill onto their shopping bill.”

If passed, Bill 91, the Liberals’ so-called Waste Reduction Act, would force Ontarians to foot the bill for an additional $100 million in costs every year by paying higher prices when shopping at their local supermarket or department store.

“The Liberals have this issue all wrong. The focus shouldn’t be on increasing costs for Ontario consumers. It should be on making the system more efficient so it costs Ontarians less money. That’s why we would work with municipalities and businesses to strike the right balance,” Harris said. “The Blue Box is one of Ontario’s major environmental achievements. To build on its history of success, we must address existing inefficiencies in the current system.”