Just a day after public works committee chair Denzil Minnan-Wong suggested the private sector take Toronto to court over the plastic bag ban bylaw set to be passed later this month, an industry association has done just that.
The Ontario Convenience Store Association will be filing a challenge to the bylaw, arguing that imposing the ban is outside the city’s jurisdiction and was approved without appropriate consultation.
“Convenience stores have taken legal action against the City of Toronto to prevent this unfair and poorly thought-out bylaw from being implemented,” said Dave Bryans, CEO of the OCSA.
“The proposed bylaw is invalid and was rushed forward with essentially no consultation with the businesses it will harm. The bylaw selectively exempts dozens of plastic bags, but targets a single type – one that many retailers rely upon and that research shows consumers frequently re-use after they carry home purchases.”
The news of the appeal comes just a day after industry representatives came to the committee to speak out on the bylaw, which was already approved by Toronto Council.
The hearings were called by council in September, after councillors failed to get the required two-thirds to reopen the council decision.
At the time, Minnan-Wong, who chairs the committee, begged the private sector to “save us from our madness” by appealing the matter in court.
On Thursday, Nov. 15, Minnan-Wong said he wasn’t surprised.
“The convenience store association warned the city about the impact of this bylaw on their businesses,” he said. “It was ill-considered, there was no consultation, they said they were going to take legal action and now they have.”
Minnan-Wong had opposed the bylaw in council when it was brought forward in a surprise move by Willowdale Councillor David Shiner. But until news of the court challenge materialized, he maintained that at this point council had little choice but to approve the final wording of the bylaw at its next meeting.
Now, however, he said council may wish to reconsider – and in any case, the court challenge would mean that the bylaw wouldn’t be enforced until the courts had decided.