Tim Hudak has for weeks now been out flip-floping on waste diversion, attacking the government for using the same Waste Diversion programs the Hudak-Harris government brought in. In 2007 campaigning on behalf of John Tory, Hudak claimed that “creation of Waste Diversion Ontario” was part of the “PC party’s legacy of environmental protection." And just last year, speaking to municipal leaders at the August 2009 AMO conference, Hudak called waste diversion one of “the most important public policy issues facing Ontario.
Hudak's claims of waste diversion being a tax and that he would scrap it if elected were put in the trash by Gord Miller's report on the program today:
"The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario supports the MHSW Program as a major step forward toward the better management of hazardous and special waste materials that we don’t want impacting the environment. Fundamentally it is a good plan that should not be scrapped..."
"...a necessary step forward for waste diversion in Ontario."
"The “eco fee” is not a tax."
Even fellow conservatives are taking Hudak's talking points to the trash. Peter Hume, Ottawa City Councillor, President of Association of Municipalities of Ontario, and a PC supporter, giving over $2000 to the party over the last decade had this to say on waste diversion:
"It makes perfect sense to divert as much hazardous waste from landfills as we can...Not 1 cent of these disposal fees goes to government coffers...It makes more sense to manage these costs openly where they start than it does to bury them in property taxes. And it makes more sense to create green incentives than it does to bury hazardous materials in our trash for now, and deal with more costly consequences later.
Shining a bright light on disposal costs and shifting them away from property taxpayers is a practical way to promote greater producer responsibility and greener consumer choices."
And here is what some others are saying about Hudak's flip-flop:
“Mr. Hudak in particular, needs to pay attention to the Environmental Commissioner. He needs to stop misrepresenting what eco fees are and who is responsible for them. If he doesn’t, he will undermine the system of producer responsibility and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Franz Hartmann, Toronto Environmental Alliance
"There is no profit, and the money goes nowhere near government coffers. But for crass political gain Hudak insists on misrepresenting it as a "tax grab."… There are now two options facing the province: we can scrap the eco fees, or we can fix the program. Hudak wants the former; Ontarians would be better served by the latter."
Toronto Star, July 15th 2010
For a party whose environmental legacy includes dirty coal and Walkerton, Hudak's politics deserve to be taken to the curb.