Posts Tagged ‘plastic bags

How much does Mayor Rob Ford hate Toronto’s 5-cent bag fee?

- June 19th, 2013

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How much does Mayor Rob Ford hate Toronto’s 5-cent bag fee? This much:

“It bothers me. When I go into a store and they charge me 5-cents, I will not support that. I do not shop at stores that charge me 5-cents for a bag.”

- Mayor Rob Ford after voting to put the “final nail in the coffin” of Toronto’s 5-cent bag fee (story here)

Help me fight the plastic bag ban: Mayor Rob Ford

- October 21st, 2012

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Mayor Rob Ford isn’t throwing out his fight against Toronto’s looming plastic bag ban.

Ford urged his Newstalk 1010 show listeners Sunday to help him reverse the city’s ban on plastic bags. The ban is set to take effect January 1, 2013. Councillors on the public works committee is set to hold consultation on the ban at their November meeting.

“OK, folks, you want plastic bags, I want to keep plastic bags – they are very, very handy,” Ford said. “You have to show up November 14 to the works committee at 9:30 a.m. and you have five minutes to say why you think plastic bags are important or on the other hand, why you don’t think plastic bags are important.”

Ford read out the names of the 18 councillors who voted against reopening the bag ban at city council earlier this month.

“You have to call these councillors folks,” Ford said.

“We have to get Ana Bailao, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Ron Moeser, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Adam Vaughan and Kristyn Wong-Tam.

“Folks, you must call these people and maybe they can explain why they want to ban plastic bags or why they don’t want to open the debate.”

Ford seemed to joke he may have to do a robo-call in those councillors’ wards to drive the point home.

“You have to put your waste in something,” Ford said.

“It is essential that we have plastic bags,” he added.

Councillor Doug Ford guaranteed the majority of the people in those councillors’ wards would say “I need a plastic bag.”

“It’s not our job, again here is the nanny state again government interfering, we know better,” Ford said. “It is just a socialist mentality that we’re dictating to people what they can and can’t do.”

Councillor Vince Crisanti, a guest on the Sunday radio show, complained the bag ban “rear-ended” councillors earlier this year as they debated ending the five-cent bag fee.

“Who saw that coming?” he said.

Crisanti joked next council could end up banning cars.

Councillor Ford blamed council for being “dysfunctional.”

“What’s next? A ban on what?” Ford asked.

Mayor Ford also hinted he may try to reverse City Hall’s ban on bottled water on city property. That ban was approved by former Mayor David Miller’s city council.

“You can allow bottled Coke and bottle root beer and bottle ginger ale and every other bottled (drink) at City Hall but you can’t have bottled water,” Ford said. “That’s something that we have to get back on the floor.”

 

Mr. Ban? Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker

- October 20th, 2012

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City Hall may be looking at another ban soon thanks to Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker.

Councillors on the licensing committee, led by De Baeremaeker, voted to have staff take a look at banning hookah bars (story here).

It would be the latest in a string of bans that have come from (surprisingly) Mayor Rob Ford’s City Hall. Despite Ford’s staunch small government approach, this is a city council that has banned plastic bags, shark fin soup and pet shops from selling cats or dogs from puppy mills.

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Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker jokes around with Mayor Rob Ford on his first day in office as Mayor of Toronto (Toronto Sun files).

In his speech to the licensing committee Friday, De Baeremaeker (who helped champion the puppy mill crackdown and the shark fin ban)  told his council colleagues it is part of their role as legislators to “change the law and ask for things to be banned” even if staff tell them not to do it.

“I have to say our council has a very good track record of doing the right thing in spite of staff recommendations telling us to be very, very, very, superly over cautious,” he said.

“I look at some of my proudest moments on council and those moments on council have been when I ignored staff advice and said, ‘You know, darn-it, we are going to ban this crap and let them take us to court because we’ll have that legal battle.’”

De Baeremaeker also hinted Friday he favours a ban on energy drinks.

“There are folks working on that issue at the federal level,” De Baeremaeker said, adding he’s not ready to get city council to clip Red Bull’s wings (along with other energy drinks) just yet.

“But yes, if I had my way, I would be banning energy drinks in the City of Toronto,” he added.

I pointed out to De Baeremaeker that he’s starting to become “the ban guy” at City Hall.

“I think in terms of banning things we should ban things that are very harmful to people – this is the role of government,” he said.

An avid cyclist, De Baeremaeker says he also supports government making bike helmets mandatory for all riders, similar to seat-belt legislation for those riding in a car.

“People on the bike helmets say, ‘You shouldn’t protect people from their own stupidity.’ Actually that’s what government does,” he said. “(Government) says to you, you can’t get in a car and drive 130 km/h in front of a school zone with little children there, we force you to slow down.

“We force you to wear a seat-belt, we may force you to wear a helmet when you get on a bike and we may force you not to smoke in enclosed spaces if we think it is going to increase your risk of cancer.”

Quote of the Day – Mayor Rob Ford on what the people want

- October 3rd, 2012

Mayor Rob Ford

“The people want their bags.” 

- Mayor Rob Ford speaking to reporters after a bid to reopen Toronto’s plastic bag ban lost at city council on Wednesday

Councillor Shelley Carroll’s vote to kill the bag ban isn’t in the bag

- October 1st, 2012

Councillor Shelley Carroll

Councillor Shelley Carroll (Toronto Sun files)

City council is poised to debate banishing the plastic bag ban this week (story here).

I’m told the vote to reopen the item could be a close one (the member’s motion requires 30 votes).

Mayor Rob Ford went on the radio Sunday and encouraged residents to call their councillors and urge them to toss the ban. Councillor Shelley Carroll sent an email to councillors Monday letting her council colleagues know she’s not on-board with reopening the ban.

One of Carroll’s colleagues passed that email along to the Sun so now you can read it for yourself.

Here’s Carroll’s email:

 

Hello Dear Colleagues,

I have been asked multiple times this morning my position on Councillor Milczyn’s member motion regarding the Plastic Bag Ban. To save time and to ensure ‘no surprises’, I’m communicating with the whole group.
Since the beginning, I have been sympathetic to a motion to re-open expressly for the purpose of changing the date of implementation. As I pointed out to Peter earlier last week, this has the dual purpose of upholding the will of Council but also acknowledging the necessary implementation work for professional staff.
The current motion, however, is far too broad and could subvert the original position taken by strong majority of Councillors. I informed Peter this morning that I will not be supporting the motion in its current form.
Sincerely, Shelley Carroll

Blame the bags?

- June 8th, 2012

Councillor David Shiner

Councillor David Shiner surprised a lot of people this week when he moved to ban plastic shopping bags in Toronto.

The veteran councillor – who once worked as a grocery store bag boy as a teenager – got a majority of councillors Wednesday to drag Hogtown into becoming the first major Canadian city to ban plastic bags (story here).

And while city legal staff have yet to weigh in on the ban’s legality (story here) and Mayor Rob Ford is vows to fight it (story here), I can’t help but wonder if only stores hadn’t introduced “lousy” plastic bags after Toronto’s 5-cent bag tax came into effect the city might not have a ban.

Why not? Because Shiner wouldn’t hate the damn things so much.

Shiner made it crystal clear Thursday he feels the plastic bags Toronto stores offer “have become so much worse” since the 5-cent bag fee came into effect. Here’s what he told reporters a day after the bag ban vote:

“It’s a lousy bag, it rips, your groceries fall through the bottom of it, it doesn’t work right. It’s time to get something better at the checkout stands and this is the way to get retailers to work with us to do that.”

Later on in the scrum (which almost last 14 minutes), he continued to slam the plastic bag as “not a good product.”

“It doesn’t work right, it rips, it’s expensive and it leaves us an environmental hazard for generations to come. Let’s do something better.”

Then reporters asked Shiner if he himself uses plastic bags. He admits usually he brings his own bags but occasionally he buys a plastic one. Here’s Shiner on his experience with plastic bags:

“I don’t like it cause it rips. How many times have I put my cucumber in the bag and it has fallen on the floor? And they do me a ‘favour’ and give me a replacement. Or I put in a couple of jars of pasta sauce or some cans and I’m worried I won’t get to my car.”

“(Plastic bags) are so flimsy, they are so crumby, they’re not worth five cents, they’re not worth three cents, they’re not worth a penny.”

“As a matter of fact how many times do you see somebody stuff (a bag full) and it breaks as they get out to their car because it falls through those crumby bags. Let’s do the right thing and get the right container to use.”

Whether you agree with the bag ban or not, tell me you haven’t noticed plastic bags have been pretty crappy since we started paying a nickel for them.

So this January when you walk into a plastic bag-free store, just think if only retailers had ponied up for a plastic bag that could hold Shiner’s cucumber or his jars of pasta sauce the bag vote likely would have gone a lot differently.

If the bag vote is a lesson that no councillors’ vote is in the bag, maybe the bag ban is a lesson to retailers that customers like Shiner do have a (bag) breaking point.