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article imageToronto Mayor Rob Ford hopes to scrap five-cent bag tax this year

By Andrew Moran     May 24, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - In an interview with a local news outlet, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said that he hopes the city can tackle the five-cent plastic bag tax by the end of the year. The fee was imposed on Toronto consumers nearly two years ago.
During the mayoral campaign last year, then Etobicoke City Councillor Rob Ford pledged to rescind the tax. In December in an interview, Ford said that he heard a lot of frustration during the holiday shopping season about the bag tax, which is actually six cents because of the HST.
In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Ford explained that he was never in favour of the bag fee that was brought in under the Mayor David Miller administration. The tax doesn’t bring in revenue for the city and is pocketed by businesses.
“I think we’re going to deal with that but again there were more important things to do,” Ford said. “Obviously, contracting out garbage and everything we’ve done in the first six months, I think, and again I can’t say for sure, I think we’ll get around to it this year. I’ll try, I can’t guarantee it, but we’ll try to get rid of that five-cent bag tax.”
A plastic bag in Toronto
A plastic bag in Toronto
Ford posted a tweet on his Twitter account Monday where he wrote: “#Toronto as promised we’ll try to get rid of the five-cent bag tax by the end of the year.”
He later stated in the interview that he realizes it produces less garbage and that more and more consumers are using less plastic bags, but said the five cents should not go directly to businesses.
“In the grand scheme of things, is it better for the environment? Yes. Are people using less plastic bags? Yes,” said Ford. “But if we’re going to use that five cents, let’s put it towards some sort of environmental program or let’s just scrap (it).”
City News reports that the city councillors who support the five-cent bag initiative say that there could be a common ground met. One solution proposed is to push retailers to put the five-cent fee to environmental projects.
The plastic bag tax was implemented on Jun. 1, 2009.
Digital Journal sought comment from Mayor Rob Ford spokesperson Adrienne Batra and city councillors, but there has been no reply as of yet.
More about Rob Ford, Toronto mayor, plastic bag fee, Bag tax, Toronto sun
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