McGuinty Government bows to demands to scrap eco-tax

For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2010

Simcoe – Opposition Environment Critic Toby Barrett says McGuinty’s eco-tax about-face is the latest example of a government that is making it up as it goes along – and sticking taxpayers with the bill.

“This government’s eco tax program should never have seen the light of day in the first place,” Barrett insisted. “Instead of providing leadership on the waste diversion front, this government is causing confusion and undue cost to consumers and business.”

Many will recall that on July 1, the same day Mr. McGuinty ushered in his HST tax he was caught trying to sneak in an eco tax on over 9,000 items, including several ‘green’ products, such as grass seed, energy saving light bulbs and rechargeable batteries.
After just 20 days, following tremendous public pressure, the McGuinty Liberals were forced to backtrack – announcing a 90-day review.

Following yesterday’s announcement to scrap the program altogether, Barrett questioned why only now is government claiming that “It’s in the public interest that we don’t put up the price” of items that many depend on for safety.

“The onset of an election in one year opens this government’s eyes to the importance of quote ‘public interest’,” Barrett noted. “We’ve been clear that driving up the cost of safety equipment was wrong-headed from day one.

“People are not stupid – they can see through this government tactic of slapping taxes and increasing fees on anything they can get away with, and then going into full retreat only when they’re caught.”
Barrett added there are still unanswered questions as to how eco taxes were applied and where the dollars went. Opposition Leader Tim Hudak made it clear that eco-taxes for Ontario were a non-starter from the very beginning.

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629