216 Toronto residents have filed a complaint against the City of Toronto with the federal Competition Bureau.
The complaints allege that the City of Toronto bag fee by-law constitutes price-fixing. Price fixing is not legal under the Competition Act. The “bag fee backlash” is growing in a sign that there is growing discontent over the City of Toronto policy.
The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition posted the letters collected from Toronto residents at an event held in the lobby of City Hall today at 10:30 AM
Last week the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition (TTC) filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau against the City of Toronto over its shopping bag fee by-law. The TTC invited residents to file their own letters of complaint or by visiting their website at www.torontotaxpayer.ca.
And complain they did.
“The number of people filing a complaint has far exceeded our target of 150 people”, said Matthew McGuire, president of TTC “We have now reset our goal to 300 complainants”
The Coalition’s complaint contends that The City of Toronto is an industry leader in the purchase and sale of recycled plastics. Its bag fee bylaw has the affect fixing the price of plastic bags in all 5,000 retail stores in Toronto.
The Competition Act states:
45. (1) Every person commits an offence who, with a competitor of that person with respect to a product, conspires, agrees or arranges
(a) to fix, maintain, increase or control the price for the supply of the product;
(b) to allocate sales, territories, customers or markets for the production or supply of the product; or
(c) to fix, maintain, control, prevent, lessen or eliminate the production or supply of the product.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the City of Toronto has fixed the price of plastic bags and prevented competition among retailers who may want to offer plastic bags for free or for a price lower than 5 cents”, added Matt McGuire
When challenged about the environmental impacts of the plastic bag fee, Nita Kang, Managing Director of the Coalition responded, “The city should not have to do something illegal in order to do something good for the environment”.