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!