Frank Klees

Press Release

July 14, 2010

    

        Frankly Speaking " The ECO-FEE FIASCO" Read column
 

Tim Hudak Commits that an Ontario PC Government

Will Scrap Dalton McGuinty’s Eco-Tax-Grab Details

 

McGuinty Ministers Ignored Warnings of Eco-Tax Fiasco

(Queen’s Park) Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees won’t let Environment Minister John Gerretsen off the hook for the Eco-Tax that’s got consumers fuming.

“He can run, but he can’t hide,” said Klees. “Mr. Gerretsen and the Minister of Finance were warned in May of last year that there was trouble brewing at Stewardship Ontario and they chose to do nothing.”

Klees raised concerns about Stewardship Ontario, the organization empowered by the McGuinty government to assess and collect new “eco-taxes” on the sale of a wide range of household products after getting complaints from companies about the arbitrary assessment of the fees and the confusion surrounding its implementation.

Charlie Bulmer, President of C.C. Marine Distributors in Newmarket, complained that his company was never properly informed about how the new tax should be changed to customers, and that the confusion was resulting in thousands of dollars in administrative costs and employee time.

In a letter to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, Klees called on the government to re-visit the appropriateness of the fee and at the very least provide a clear directive concerning its implementation. 

“Not only did the Finance Minister ignore the warning that this agency was out of control and causing an administrative nightmare for businesses, the Minister of the Environment readily admitted at the time that he had mandated the Eco-Tax program and had full confidence in how it was being administered by Stewardship Ontario,” Klees said. “Now he’s running for cover, claiming he knew nothing about the problems at this agency for which he has responsibility and the reckless tax-grab that’s been going on under its authority.”

 

Referring to a letter written by Environment Minister John Gerretsen to Stewardship Ontario in which he expressed his dismay at how the program is being run, Klees called it “a desperate attempt at damage control in the wake of the public’s outrage over yet one more tax grab.”

Klees confirmed that a PC government would scrap the McGuinty Eco-Tax and called for a full accounting of the millions of dollars already collected by Stewardship Ontario.