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‘Eco Fees’ Surprises Ontario Consumers

Ontario consumers have begun seeing  a new ‘eco fee’ added on to their supermarket charges at point of sale. The fee is for recycling certain products purchased which include dish soap, batteries, cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, fluorescent tubes, bulbs, fire extinguishers and all aerosol containers  reports MarketWatch Blog.

The eco fee has been called a “tax grab,” but Ontario provincial government officials say it’s not a tax, according to the blog.

Stewardship Ontario, the industry group that oversees mandated recycling programs, says the eco fees are not mandatory or a tax, reports the blog. The group says retailers have the option to pass the eco fees along to consumers that they must pay to Stewardship Ontario to recycle many products.

According to the Toronto Star, Stewardship Ontario is urging companies to bury eco fees in a product’s price so consumers are “none the wiser.”

Environment Minister John Gerretsen said in the Toronto Star article that the recycling fees are “not a tax grab” and “these are fees that are being charged by the stewardship councils to make sure that the products are being recycled properly.”

In response, Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod (Ottawa West-Nepean) said in the article that between the 13 percent harmonized sales tax that also took effect July 1 and the “eco-tax,” Ontarians are paying higher levies on more than 10,000 different goods and services.

Tory MPP Christine Elliott told the Toronto Sun that some tax and constitutional experts say it’s not constitutional. But an official told the newspaper in an e-mail that it is legal as long as they comply with the Consumer Protection Act.

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8 thoughts on “‘Eco Fees’ Surprises Ontario Consumers

  1. Do the environmental social engineers have a clue what they’re doing. This just turns people away and gets them angry. What a stupid, stupid program. Nothing in it does anything to “help” the environment. All it does is transfer the public’s money directly to the corporations without any accountability or oversight. Taxation without representation.

  2. This is typical of our present government. Mcpinochio is looking for nothing but revenue. Now he is going after the manufacturers knowing full well it will impact the taxpayers in the added cost of the products that are subject to it. Amazingly the ecofee is also put on green laundry and dish detergent as well as grass seed. What does this tell you other than TAX GRAB!!!

  3. The problem isn’t just Stewardship Ontario but the company that’s behind it, Liberal Crony Capitalism, and the boondoggle that is ANOTHER example of the ineptitude of our current government. Does anyone remember eHealth?

    Here’s how the Eco Taxes came to be:
    * The Ministry of the Environment gave this project to Waste Diversion Ontario (gov’t agency).
    * Waste Diversion Ontario hired private consultancy CSR (at the time a not for profit) to create a plan to deal with Household Hazardous Waste. No evidence of a competitive bidding or tendering process is online by the way.
    * CSR created a plan for Stewardship Ontario and entrenched themselves as managers of the program.
    * Waste Diversion Ontario approves Stewardship Ontario plan and the first round of eco fees go into effect.
    * Waste Diversion Ontario at Ministry of Environment request hands off development of e-waste recycling plan to CSR. Again, no evidence of competitive bidding or tendering.
    * CSR creates Ontario Electronic Stewardship. WDO approves plan, e-waste fees are introduced.
    * CSR rebrands itself as Steward Edge, becomes for-profit entity.
    * Steward Edge remains the management of Stewardship Ontario and Ontario Electronic Stewardship courtesy of your eco taxes.

    Every business has to make a profit but McGuinty has given Steward Edge the right to set the taxes that goes to their bottom line.

    It’s just not right.

  4. A little information is a dangerous thing..as proven by Patrick.

    It was a Conservative government that approved the Waste Diversion Act and WDO and Tim Hudak was in the Cabinet.

    All programs developed by Stewardship Ontario, Ontario Tire Stewardship and Ontario Electronic Stewardship are approved by WDO (which include RCO, municipalities, independent directors, Ministry representatives, industry)as well as the Ministry and Minister of Environment prior to implementation. Each program is review by Ontario government constitutional lawyers with regards to how fees are established and calculated. If only people show as much interest and outrage on HST !!!

  5. ….recycling fees are “not a tax grab” and “these are fees that are being charged by the stewardship councils to make sure that the products are being recycled properly.”
    SO… by charging me more the products will be recycled properly? What a load of a crap. The products will end up in the garbage and never make it to a recycling company. Lame, lame, lame… total cash grab.

  6. I bought printer from Walmart today costing $19.00 and had to pay $5.40 as Eco Fee and over it another 13% Tax-Imagine 25% of the cost of printer is being charged as ECO-Fee-we are either totally considered dumb or the government is helpless in managing the money it collects from public in the shape of taxes-seems there is absolute anarchy in the control system-if there is any

  7. printer at walmart 29.98 eco tax 11.68 no thanks , same printer at walmart new york state 17.95 and no ecotax yeah shop canadian

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