The Ontario government, it will be dropping the new Eco Fees that came into effect July 1, 2010, amid growing controversy and consumer backlash. The environment minister is expected to announce at Queen’s Park today (July 20, 2010 at 11:00am) that the fees will no longer be charged on thousands of regular everyday household items.
Retailers including Canadian Tire, announced on Monday July 19 2010, that it was refusing to collect the new Eco Fees, as it was confusing to consumers and complex. The Eco Fees is the second phase of the program that started in 2008, by Stewardship Ontario (an agency created by the McGuinty Liberal government). The retailer said it would only re-implement the fees when the government (and Stewardship Ontario) develop a more efficient system.
Although the new Eco Fees will be eliminated, I have absolutely no doubts that the government will find another method to recover them from consumers within the next few years. Just brainstorming, we should not be surprised if they implement a new “eco” related fee/tax/levy on the property owners (thereby capturing renters as well, passed on by landlords), or on all products across the board. The possibilities are endless, with an unlimited number of new names and excuses.
Gemma Zecchini, Stewardship Ontario’s CEO had stated that “In retrospect, consumers clearly were looking for information on how eco fees work, and we will initiate efforts to help them understand that.”
I can only imagine what he means by that, given that the Eco Fees as we know it today are being scrapped…..
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