Spokesperson for Stewardship Ontario is Amanda Harper-Sevonty. She was recently Marketing Manager for Jacques Whitford, now owned by Stantec Consulting Ltd, a company we all know has spent the last several years pushing wind projects throughout Ontario using biased environmental reviews complete with PR spin for their valued clients. (Read Lessons from the Close Enough School of Environmental Assessments)
The new eco-fees levied on various substances/materials (as of July 1) may very well be illegal. At a minimum, there’s been some serious manipulation and subterfuge on the part of Stewardship Ontario.
Toronto Star: Leaked Internal Memo from Stewardship Ontario: The eco fee is not mandatory nor is it a tax — stewards have the option to pass the fees they pay Stewardship Ontario on to consumers. As one of the costs of doing business, the eco fee may be reflected in the product’s sticker price — in which case the consumer is none the wiser . . .
Toronto Sun: The new Ontario “eco fees” charged to consumers on thousands of products are illegal, consumer and legal experts say.
“It’s an illegal fee,” Mel Fruitman, vice president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, told the Toronto Sun. “It’s an add-on fee and there is nobody in this country who is allowed to put on a tax except governments. As far as I can tell, unless they slipped through something quietly in the middle of the night when everybody else was asleep including me, they have no authority to do this.”
“The industry is allowed to self-regulate. The board of Stewardship Ontario is all industry people. They select themselves, they have carte blanche to collect money from consumers and with no obligation to spend it in any particular way,” said Peter Kormos.
According to its annual financial statement of “Stewardship Ontario”, it has assets of over $85 million with over $75 million invested in the stock market. If this non profit agency receives no government funding, where exactly did it get $85M in the first place?, and if none of this money is going to the government, is it going to consultants?
Board of Directors of Stewardship Ontario
- Justin Sherwood – President, Refreshment Canada (lobby group)
- Jill Carman – Director, General Mills Canada
- John Coyne – VP, Unilever Canada
- Rosanne Angotti – Chief Counsel, Kraft Canada
- Dianne Brisebois – CEO, Retail Council of Canada (another lobby group)
- Stephanie Jones – VP, Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (hat trick on lobby group representation).
- Tamara Burns – VP, Sears Canada Ashley Dent – VP, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (lobby group)
- Vaughn Crofford – President,Canadian Hardware and Housewares Manufacturing Association (repetitive, but yes, another lobby group)
- John Hinds – CEO, Canadian Newspaper Association (L-O-B-B-Y Group)
- David Bois – Manager, Home Hardware Stores Ltd.
- Shannon Coombs – President, Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association (yep, lobby group)
- Jim Quick – President, Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (lobby group)
- Mark Reed – Director, Pennzoil-Quaker State Canada Kent Hatton – Director, Energizer Canada