A pledge to introduce new Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) legislation and make up for an embarrassing failure to deliver on diversion targets from Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen seems to have been a diversion in itself, says Conservative MPP and Opposition Environment critic Toby Barrett.
On Earth Day, as media attention was aimed at environmental issues, Gerretsen was quick to announce the supposed pending legislation in response to Opposition questions highlighting the failure of the Ontario government’s waste diversion direction, says Barrett in a press release issued on June 3, 2010.
“We look forward to that party supporting our new Waste Diversion Act, which will be introduced in this House within the next four to five weeks,” Gerretsen said at the time.
Now six weeks later, with the house preparing to rise for the summer, there is no legislation to be found.
“This is just the latest example of a government that makes its commitments and then leaves them at the curb,” says Barrett. “They promised 60 per cent waste diversion by 2008, now in 2010 we sit at 22 per cent – they are also achieving only one-third of their electronics waste target.
“Now they fail to deliver on legislation proposed to fix what they have broken.”
Despite the clear failure of the government to deliver on its waste diversion commitments, Ontarians continue to fund the sputtering program. Recent reports indicate that on top of the government-imposed fees already being paid, changes to WDO may also include an additional waste disposal fee.
“This government’s waste disposal strategy is held up by tax – specifically, tire tax, electronics tax and now a waste disposal fee?” asks Barret, who is the MPP for the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk. “As usual, in McGuinty’s Ontario we will be paying more and getting less in the way of results.”