The public will be privy to the negotiation process for determining payment obligations to municipalities under Ontario’s 2014 Blue Box program, an arbitrator has ruled.
The March 24, 2014 decision came down in favour of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the City of Toronto, whose legal counsel fought to keep the negotiations with Stewardship Ontario from going private.
Product brandowners pay into Stewardship Ontario. Under Ontario’s current recycling system, municipalities are entitled to 50 per cent of the total net costs incurred as a result of the Blue Box program. As a result of the failure to negotiate a dollar figure for 2014, the matter is now before arbitration.
Stewardship Ontario’s counsel had argued that there was the presumption of privacy for the arbitration. But the argument was shot down.
“As I see it, an open and transparent hearing process in this case will serve the public interest and will not detract from the parties’ ability to achieve a fair and just result,” ruled case arbitrator Robert Armstrong, who noted that confidentiality issues can be addressed as they arise.
AMO counsel Dianne Saxe posted the arbitrator’s decision to her Enviro Law website.
The hearings begin in late April 2014.