Ontario’s illegal ‘eco-tax’ scrapped and ‘under review’

Last Saturday, there was a protest at Premier Dalton McGuinty’s constituency office.  Yes, even his brother, David McGiunty (a federal MP for this part of Ottawa) showed up at the protest!

The protest was sparked by a totally evil thing the McGuinty Liberals have done:  on the same day that prices went up because of the introduction of HST (no problem with the ‘what’ of the HST, but rather the ‘how’ – it was imposed on tons of products previously tax exempt – an unelected agency of the Ontario Government, whose board of directors is composed of ‘industry partners’, imposed an ‘eco-fee’ on  over 8 thousand  new items…

I say ‘new items’, because this ‘eco-fee/eco-tax’ had first been introduced in 2008:  but so quietly, on not that many items, and not so high…..so nobody really ‘noticed’ it.  Having ‘established’ this method and legitimized it (no protests were seen against it), the McGuinty Liberals then cynically decided that the danger was ‘past’ and they can begin to ‘tighten the screws’.

This is an important pattern we must be aware of:  a government – any government – can introduce some measure.  Perhaps this measure is not really noticed (like this ‘Stewardship Ontario’ program – not to be confused with a completely different and unrelated government initiative called ‘Ontario Stewardship’), or perhaps it is even applauded by the populace because it appears to remove a perceived (rightly or wrongly perceived) threat (like, say, banning the full Islamic facial veil).  Once the measure and the method has been ‘accepted’ and ‘normalized’, the government can then expand on it:  using this new ‘tool’ to their own benefit.  If anyone speaks out – they can claim this is ‘the accepted way of doing things’!

That is why we need to really really examine not just the ‘what’ of each thing a government does, of each new law passed, but perhaps even more importantly – the ‘how’ of it!    But, I am off on a tangent….sorry, I have the attention span of a gnat!

Today, the Ontario Environment Minister announced that the ‘eco-fees’ are ‘scrapped’.

Not exactly ‘gone‘….

Just their current format is ‘scrapped’.

For now, the Ontario Government will take 3 months to ‘study’ the issue – and pay five million dollars from general revenue over the next 3 months to maintain the programs while it tries to figure out another way to  stick us with the bill.

Bob Chiarelli, the Ontario Government’s Communication Minister (and thus the guy who ought to have told us about this), has openly claimed in both the press and radio interviews that ‘NONE of the money collected through the eco-fees  goes to GOVERNMENT’ – yet we are now told that programs like the ‘Blue Box recycling’, which we have been told are paid from our municipal property taxes and their cost used as a justification to raise the municipal taxes, well, we are now being told these programs are being 100% paid for through the eco-fees!

So – which is it?

Are we paying for recycling programs through our property taxes – as our municipal politicians are telling us – or are we paying for it through this eco-fee?  One level of government or the other has GOT to be lying!

But, I am off on a tangent again…

What is important – really important – about this ‘eco-fee’ is the HOW of it all…

Ontario Government had – ages ago –  created ‘Stewardship Ontario’ with a board of ‘industry partners’ to work on these recycling initiatives.   The idea was that since industry is producing the things which need to be diverted from garbage dumps, they ought to be consulted on ways to deal with diverting ‘stuff’ from the dumps.  We were told it was supposed to be a sort of a ‘think tank’ type thing.

The Board of Directors of Stewardship Ontario is  truly made up of ‘industry giants':  from McCain Foods and Canadian Tire Corp. to Procter & Gamble and Loblaw Companies Ltd. …

So, this ‘arms-length’ organization, with a BOD made up entirely of ‘industry partners’ (read ‘big business corporations’) is given power, by the government, to tax citizens!!!

What is the definition of fascism?

Ah – fascism is DEFINED as  ‘the collusion of big government and big business’!!!

How much more ‘collusion’ can there be between ‘big government’ and ‘big business’ than for the government to give the big business the ability to levy taxes (which is what non-voluntary fees are) on the citizens?!?!?!?

Ontario taxpayers have seen some serious money mismanagement in the past.  The ‘e-Health’ scandal has been a billion-dollar program that funneled money from the woefully broke medical system to ‘advisers’ who were not just highly overpaid McGuinty cronies, they also provided exactly zero value for their services….

Now, Lisa McLeod, an opposition MPP, has revealed during a radio interview that some of these same e-Health consultants are also ‘consulting’ for Stewardship Ontario…

Please, think of this:  the very sleazy skum-buckets  who claimed the Ontario Government is not the one who imposed these ‘fees’ have had no problem ‘scrapping them’…because now, the Ontario Government is taking credit for ‘scrapping’ them.

And, in 3 month’s time, they hope to have figured out another way to weasel the money out of us!

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6 Responses to “Ontario’s illegal ‘eco-tax’ scrapped and ‘under review’”

  1. Another eco-tax protest planned for Saturday, 7th of August in Ottawa « Xanthippa's Chamberpot Says:

    [...] Pictures from the rally can be seen here and here, more on the eco-fees is here and here. [...]

  2. Photos from August 7th anti-eco-tax protest in Ottawa part 1: the speakers « Xanthippa's Chamberpot Says:

    [...] of people protested the illegal taxes known as eco-fees which the Ontario Government plans to re-impose on the citizens in October 2010.  (Photos from the July demonstration can be found here and [...]

  3. Sandra Says:

    Hi today I was not impressed when I paid 14.65 for 9.99 speakers at Walmart. I thuoght cashier messed up but she said its an Echo fee? I’m thining huh I thuoght that was tabled ? not only did I pay echo fee but I got taxed on the eocho fee!!!! The Thing thats very anoying is If when the product is no good If I’m being ech freindly I have too take product too proper desposal place and pay to leave it there? What the Heck!!! 3 weeks ago I purchesed 500 Ac at Canadian tire wasn’t charged any echo fee? I’m confused?? And think this is so unfair!!! No wonder there trying too sooth us with these little payouts.

    Xanthippa says:

    You are right to be mad!

    They are confusing things and making it harder and harder for us to figure out what is going on.

    Tax on a tax on a tax….pretty soon, we will have no money left – except for the little government ‘rebates’, which are in reality the government telling us what we are and are not ‘permitted’ to spend our own money on!

    But, they can only get away with what we LET them get away with! If enough of us get angry enough, they’ll have no choice!

  4. G.Roberts Says:

    I am confused, Is this eco tax enforced and are the stores allowed to collect this tax I can not find information on this. Can you help

    Xanthippa says:
    This eco tax was imposed on the 1st of July, 2010, in Ontario.

    It was imposed by an ‘arm’s length’ agency set up by the Provincial Government, whose Board of Directors is made up of ‘industry leaders’ (like the head of Canadian Tire, and so on).

    The Ontario government, led my McGuinty, permitted this ‘agency’ to impose direct sales taxes on various items. For example, cement was taxed at close to 100%: even items such as a paper bag filled with grass seed had this tax on it! The ‘reasoning’ was that this will help dispose of environmentally dangerous ‘stuff’ in an eco-friendly manner.

    It took a while for Ontarians to notice that this tax was being charged, because it was not announced and was introduced at the same time as the HST tax hike. However, once people realized it, experts in the field of law and finance spoke up and pointed out that the Ontario Government does not have the power to permit this agency to impose this tax. In other words, it became apparent that the tax was actually illegal.

    Mid-July 2010, Dalton McGuinty announced that the eco tax will be TEMPORARILY lifted – and re-introduced in another, less illegal way, in 90 days.

    Therefore, right now, we are not being charged this tax. However, the 90 days is almost up and we will soon hear in what format Mr. Mcguinty’s government plans to re-introduce the eco tax.

    I have blogged some of the background (with links to newspaper articles) here (when the taxes were first imposed).

  5. Ralph Smith Says:

    I just bought 2 gallons of Thompson Deck Sealer and paid .81 cents eco tax on both, and on both, , I paid HST onthagt sub total. Now Deck sealer either soaks into the wooden deck or disapates into the air, there is nothing to dispose of except the empty can which goes into the blue box! This is an outrageous rip-off!
    I will gladly pay an eco fee to get rid of McGuinty!

    Xanthippa says:

    Thank you for letting me know! I will pass the comment on to Debbie – she is the one who had organized the anti-eco-tax demonstrations.

    Publicly announcing that he is scrapping the eco-tax and still tolerating businesses collecting it is a failure to govern – on one level or another.

    Unless the announcement that the eco-tax is scrapped was a lie.

    Especially now, with the provincial elections coming up this fall, it is essential that we document failures-to-govern/lies like this!!!

  6. Brian Threapleton Says:

    Just Bought a new 32″ LCD TV and was charged a $25.00 ECO Fee + Charged HST on the ECO Fee.
    Is this legal?

    Xanthippa says:

    Unfortunatelly, there is nothing you can do about it. Even though they announced they had ‘scrapped it’, the McGuinty Liberals only took it off the items to which they had added it at that stage – not everything.

    And, they have been sneaking it on to more and more items ever since – just in small increments, so as not to rock the boat…

    It is probably still illegal, because it is levied by a non-elected body. But, with the backing of the government, there is little each one of us can do about it individually.

    So, they happily charge you an illegal tax, then tax you on the tax… Welcome to McGuinty-land!


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