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Ontario Politics

Liberals target Tim Hudak over ‘eco-fee shell game’

Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak

The Liberals issued a press release yesterday afternoon attacking Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak over his – and his caucus’s – confusion regarding eco fees. It appears as if the Tories are uncertain as to who exactly will be made to pay for recycling these materials if they win the general election in October.

From the Liberal Press Release:

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has issued a warning that Tim Hudak’s policy on eco-fees risks higher property taxes for Ontarians, as the costs of safely disposing of hazardous products are downloaded onto municipalities.

“It is not clear from the platform who will pay for the safe disposal of these products however if it falls to municipal property taxpayers, this would be unfortunate. AMO supports the polluter pays principle as key to environmental stewardship and believes that manufacturers must pay the full cost of their goods, including safe, environmentally responsible disposal.”

Shell games are designed to confuse, and Tim Hudak’s eco-fee shell game is no different. In fact, AMO is not alone in their confusion about Hudak’s eco-fee plans. Even Hudak’s own caucus members don’t have a clue what he would actually do.

Three weeks ago, PC MPP Ted Arnott told the media the only substantive change Hudak had was hiding the fee in the price. Arnott was clear: the producer-pay principle, originally introduced by Mike Harris in 2002, would stay.

Then, a week later, PC MPP Garfield “Mileage Man” Dunlop gave reporters a completely different answer. He said that the PCs would scrap the existing recycling program infrastructure but still require that hazardous products be recycled. The more questions reporters asked, the more it became obvious that neither Dunlop nor the PCs had a clue who they were going to charge to pay for the recycling.

Later that same day, PC “party officials” were forced to clarify “Driver” Dunlop’s statements by saying Tim Hudak would make “taxpayers” pick up the cost. This despite the fact Hudak’s platform failed to budget for any additional expenditure.

– – –

A press release from Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC’s regarding eco fees can be read here.

The general confusion in the Ontario Tory ranks should cause everyone some measure of concern: if Tim Hudak has such a difficult time understanding that there is no difference between the ‘taxpayer’, the ‘consumer’, and the ‘voter’, then we are all in trouble.

Because saying the ‘consumer’ will not pay an eco fee but the ‘taxpayer’ will be held responsible assumes that the ‘voter’ is stupid, or simply not paying attention. Plain and simple.

– – –

An earlier version of this article referred to the above press release as being issued by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, when it was, in fact, issued by the Liberal Party of Ontario. The article has been corrected, and I apologize for the mistake. Thanks to my readers for pointing this out.

About awreeves

Editor-in-chief at Alternatives Journal. Author of 'Overrun: Dispatches from the Asian carp Crisis'.


6 thoughts on “Liberals target Tim Hudak over ‘eco-fee shell game’

  1. That news release was issued by the Liberal Party of Ontario. AMO was not consulted about it. AMO’s news releases and policy positions are available at http://www.amo.on.ca. Recently, AMO called on all Ontario political parties to explain how they would achieve municipal priorities such as diverting waste, promoting personal responsibility, reducing packaging, encouraging recycling and making sure that taxpayers are not saddled with the bill for waste management costs.

    Posted by Brian Lambie | July 14, 2011, 5:05 pm
  2. You are not quoting an AMO press release. You’re quoting a Liberal press release, which took a footnote in an AMO press release out of context and spun it into something completely untrue. If you’re going to attack Tim Hudak, that’s fine, but don’t associate AMO with this nonsense.

    Posted by Toronto Tory | July 14, 2011, 8:57 pm
  3. Thanks to my readers Brian Lambie and Toronto Tory for pointing this inaccuracy out. For the record, the article has been corrected to reflect the true nature of the article. The above press release was, in fact, issued by the Liberal Party of Ontario, and not AMO.

    We apologize for the mistake.

    Posted by awreeves | July 14, 2011, 10:09 pm
  4. It is obvious that AWREEVES intended to mislead and misinform. It seems the writer is the one who thinks that the readers which are consumers, taxpayers and voters are stupid. Eco-fees were applied to “potting soil”, now that’s a hazardous material.

    Posted by Joe Blough | July 16, 2011, 3:44 pm
  5. It’s unfortunate that politicians will do or say ANYTHING to get elected. Whether it’s chain gangs, bracelets for pedophiles or scrapping the HST off heating bills, Hudak is just throwing all these promises out there hoping that they find approval with like-minded people. It’s pathetic really, but not unexpected. Politics is a contact sport, and it certainly isn’t pretty.

    Posted by JReeves | July 20, 2011, 12:41 pm
  6. Ontario’s 3 stewardship agancies should be consolidated. We do not need separate bureaucracies for tires, paints and electronics. One agency will do.

    Posted by Stan Fockner | July 21, 2011, 2:42 pm

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