Environment Minister Bungling Oversight and Phase Out of OTS
QUEEN’S PARK – The Environment Minister is purposely adding to Ontario Tire Stewardship’s (OTS) already bloated surplus by missing his own deadline to phase out the eco-tax collection agency, say MPPs Ted Arnott and Lisa Thompson.
In February 2016, the Minister told the legislature that OTS would be phased out within the year. That deadline has come and gone, with the Minister now saying the program will instead be phased out by December 2018, a full 22 months after the initial deadline.
“This Government needs to accept responsibility for the mess they’ve made with the Ontario Tire Stewardship program,” Arnott said. “They still haven’t explained why it is taking almost 2 years longer to wind up the program than they originally said it would.”
While the Minister fails to deliver on his promises, the organization continues to collect roughly $80 million a year from Ontarians. That is on top of an existing surplus of $50 million the organization has already collected from taxpayers.
“If the Minister had taken this issue seriously in the beginning, Ontarians would not have overpaid. They would have had more money in their pockets to cover things like their skyrocketing hydro rates. Now the Minister wants to extend that gouging by almost two years. He needs to account for the money being collected, and return what is rightfully owed to Ontarians,” said Thompson.
Minister Murray’s response to Opposition members failed to address how the surplus collected by OTS is being used, or the rationale on extending a timeline for the industry funding organization to continue adding to its surplus.
To view MPP Arnott and MPP Thompson’s question, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIKgojbi33c&t