toronto bag ban

Convenience store owners file lawsuit over bag ban

Toronto's bag ban might not be in the bag just yet. The Ontario Convenience Stores Association says it will mount a legal challenge to the city's decision to outlaw reusable plastic containers at the checkout. Earlier this week the public works committee voted 4-2 to proceed with the ban, though they decided to give stores a six-month grace period to use up existing stock before issuing fines.

At that meeting, dissenting councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong implored any special interest group to sue the city and put a stop to the proceedings. Today, he got his wish. OCSA believes the city didn't have the authority to issue the ban in the first place and says the rules were enacted without proper consultations.

The ban itself came about after a bizarre twist of events at a city council meeting earlier this year. During a debate about whether or not to scrap the 5-cent fee, councillor David Shiner introduced a surprise motion to eliminate bags at the checkout altogether. Council, much to Rob Ford's chagrin, voted 24-20 in favour.

In the aftermath, the city went back and conducted an environmental assessment and gave groups on both sides of the political coin a chance to speak at yesterday's committee meeting.

The main opponents to the prohibition are, naturally, groups with a vested interest in making sure retailers keep buying plastic bags. "Reverse the Bag Ban," one such group, produced a series of online PSA-style videos featuring talking dogs to try and drum up support for their campaign.

Here's the full text of the OCSA's lawsuit against the City of Toronto:

OCSA vs. City of Toronto

Are you in favour of banning bags? Are you likely to buy less or change your buying habits based on the city's decision?

Photo: "Plastic Bags" by ravenswift from the blogTO Flickr pool.


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