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Provincial scrap Budget squabbles keep Ontario program intact

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TORONTO—Disagreements over the pending provincial budget have left Ontario Tire Stewardship, the province's industry-run scrap tire management organization, intact for now.

However, the subject of rewriting Ontario's Waste Diversion Act certainly will come up again, and soon, according to Glenn Maidment, president of the Rubber Association of Canada. But the delay will allow Ontario's tire industry to have more input in a new law's provisions, he said.

Kathleen Wynne, prime minister of Ontario and leader of Ontario's Liberal Party, called for new provincial parliamentary elections June 12 after Andrea Horvath, leader of Ontario's New Democrat Party, declined May 1 to support the $130.4 billion budget package issued that day by Wynne's government.

“I cannot in good conscience support a government the people don't support any more,” Horvath said in a statement broadcast May 1 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

With Horvath's rejection of the budget, all unfinished legislative business before the Ontario Parliament became null and void, according to Maidment.

That unfinished business included Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act, which called for sweeping alterations to the structure of waste recycling efforts in Ontario.

Proposed in June 2013 by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Bill 91 would have mandated Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) requirements for the collection and recycling of all end-of-life products in Ontario, including tires.

The bill would have converted Waste Reduction Ontario—the government corporation created by the previously enacted Waste Reduction Act—to a new Waste Reduction Authority with responsibility to enforce compliance with the IPR program and levy fines and penalties.

That would have spelled the end of Ontario Tire Stewardship, the Extended Producer Warranty program run by Ontario tire manufacturers, dealers and importers. Whereas OTS funds its activities through a graduated scale of fees on new tire purchases, the IPR program would have been funded through fees and penalties to be determined later. The IPR program would have been phased in during 2016 and 2017.

“For now OTS remains fully constituted as it is,” Maidment said. “That said, the election is but a pause.

“Virtually everyone and all three political parties agree the current Waste Diversion Act has many flaws and must be changed,” he said. “The good news is the election will give industry—all affected industries, not just tires—time to consider and present some ideas we can all buy into to make these diversion programs better.”

In other Ontario scrap tire news, OTS lowered its fee on passenger and light truck tire purchases to $5.43 per tire from the previous $5.69.

This is the second time OTS has issued a fee decrease on passenger and light truck tires, the organization said. When OTS was founded in 2009, the fee on those tires was $5.84.

All other tire fees remain as before, OTS said.