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By Patrick Hebert
In Ontario, the plan to deal with e-waste is about passing the buck - not necessarily what's best for the public. The 286 page Ontario Electronic Stewardship plan is up for review online, but comments are kept secret. Press Release - Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment make up the fastest growing portion of solid waste generated today by industry, government and the public. Without a doubt, we need a plan to deal with it.

The Ontario government's plan to deal with the mess started with a letter sent by the Minister of the Environment in 2004 asking Waste Diversion Ontario, a non-government organization created by the government, to develop a plan to deal with e-waste in the province.

In turn, Waste Diversion Ontario created an Industry Funded Organization backed by electronic producers, importers and retailers to deal with the problem.

Ontario Electronic Stewardship was formed with its directors from Panasonic, HP, Dell, Sony, Wal Mart, HBC (Zellers and The Bay) and Best Buy. While this may seem like a good idea, I see it as though the shepherd has asked Wyle E. Coyote to watch the sheep.

What's more concerning is that the plan is set to be approved without adequate public education, awareness, or scrutiny. Sure, you can read it online by searching for WEEE at and there is even a link to submit comments about the plan conveniently located on the page. What's missing though is an unbiased overview of the program and a transparent mechanism to allow everyone to read what is of concern about the program. No feedback, no transparency, no accountability.

While the plan has its benefits and is written in (mostly) good intent, I feel it is important that any change to environmental regulations that will affect all Ontario residents be presented in an unbiased and impartial manner. Perhaps a referendum would be appropriate before introducing such far reaching taxes- sorry, fees, as they have been described.

We've been presented with confusing and convoluted plans before - does the Mixed Member Proportional question ring any bells?

About Patrick Hebert &

Patrick Hebert is the director of Ltd which is a social enterprise that is pioneering the Responsible Computer Afterlife Management business. Living with medical challenges, Patrick has built the company around the Triple Bottom Line philosophy - improving tomorrow by keeping resources working to benefit all people and the planet while turning a profit. The company employs persons with employment barriers to refurbish, reuse and recycle computer technology as part of this mission.

For media information contact: Amanda Sutton, CATALYST Communications Choreography 705.791.7209 or


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