Liberals, NDP spar over MMBC recycling rollout

Minister challenges New Democrats to take position, says program shifts costs to packaging, paper generators

B.C.’s small business minister defended the province’s shift to a new recycling system Wednesday after a continuing attack in the Legislature by the Official Opposition.

Naomi Yamamoto said the Multi Material BC program transfers recycling costs from taxpayers to the producers who generate packaging and printed paper and challenged New Democrats to state whether or not they oppose that principle.

“How many of us have come home after purchasing a relatively small item, struggled to unpackage the item and then found yourself with a mountain of waste material that we have no control over?” Yamamoto responded in Question Period. “This program actually provides an incentive to producers to reduce their packaging.”

The new system led by Multi Material BC is being resisted as too costly by various business sectors, including the newspaper industry and Black Press, the company that owns this newspaper.

Yamamoto said the province asked MMBC to work with the small business community and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, adding that led to a series of exemptions that absolve 99 per cent of small businesses of requirements to report and pay recycling fees under the new program.

NDP small business critic Lana Popham cited severe business impacts and demanded to know if the province will halt the scheduled May 19 rollout pending better consultation with businesses, municipalities and environmental organizations.

“The premier is chucking B.C.’s recycling system into a giant dumpster by completely botching the implementation,” Popham said. “British Columbia deserves to get our recycling right.”

Popham earlier in the week denounced MMBC as a “red tape monster” controlled by Ontario-based corporations and multinational firms that aren’t sufficiently accountable to B.C. stakeholders.

Newspaper industry representatives have warned newspaper closures and large-scale job losses are likely if the MMBC rollout continues unchanged.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kathy MacNeil, president and chief executive officer of Island Health, Dawn Thomas, acting deputy health minister and Island Health’s vice president, Indigenous health and diversity and Chief Don Tom of Tsartlip First Nation, stand out Saanich Peninsula Hospital Tuesday morning, when they also answered questions about a new report that “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system. (Island Health/Submitted)
Head of Island Health says Saanich Peninsula Hospital not part of racist guessing game

Tsartlip First Nations Chief Don Tom welcomes changes following report but promises future scrutiny

Caroline Sousa, Bela Spick and her son Mateo marched along Prospect Lake Road in November 2019 to bring attention to the unsafe conditions on the road. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich reduces Prospect Lake Road speed limit to 30 km/h

New speed limit in effect as of Dec. 1 from Goward Road to Estelline Road

Royal Bay Secondary’s leadership class, comprised of Grade 9 through 12 students, is part of the student team organizing this year’s 10,000 Tonight event that shifts entirely online for 2020. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
West Shore student food drive shifts entirely online

Drive-thru option removed from 10,000 Tonight in light of COVID-19 restrictions

Colwood resident, Geoffrey Irwin, has been missing since Sep. 27. His vehicle was found in Vancouver on Nov. 25. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
Police search for Colwood man last seen in September

Geoffrey Irwin’s vehicle was found in Vancouver Nov. 25

BC Transit confirmed on Dec. 1 that a Langford employee has tested positive for COVID-19. (Courtesy of BC Transit)
Langford transit worker tests positive for COVID-19

Island Health is conducting contact tracing for the case

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read