The many terms now spouted off by politicians, their bureaucrats and ENGO (environmental non-government organization) such as: The Great Reset, net-zero, climate change, electrification, Just Transition, ESG and stakeholder capitalism could have been used instead of the captioned “Circular Economy” but based on the following the latter highlights what we are seeing. So let’s look at how regulations coupled with your tax dollars are making it happen!
Gas Tax Funding for Municipal Transit
The Province recently and quietly announced it was providing $379.5 million to 107 municipalities for the 2022-23 year to be “used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.“ The money came from those “provincial sales taxes” levied when you purchase gasoline or diesel fuel to keep your ICE vehicles running but apparently they came up short for the year as (we assume) due to Covid-19 lockdowns. As a result the province kicked in $80 million of Ontarians regular taxes to supplement the gas-tax funding. The foregoing $379.5 million appears to be additional to the $505 million announced and handed out only three months ago. So what are the municipalities doing with some of that money is the question and does it align with the most recent handout? Looking at Ottawa Transit who are destined to receive $37,804,511 (10% of the $379.5 million) it appears it will help them to pay for 13 of the 350 electric buses ($2.8 million per EV bus) they recently budgeted for with the $974 million their council approved to spend. In Toronto’s case they will receive $185,575,500 (48.9% of the $379.5 million). Back in 2021 the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) reputedly ordered 300 electric buses with a price tax of $300 million after having earlier ordering 300 hybrid electric buses (HEV) at a cost of $390 million. One should wonder why is Ottawa Transit paying triple the price for their EV buses?
As an aside when all the cars, buses and transport vehicles are all electric powered where will the money now provided via those “gas taxes” come from? Surely the politicians know but refuse to tell us!
Brampton is getting a new electric fire truck this spring
The City of Brampton, where Patrick Brown; former contender for the Leadership of the Ontario Conservative Party, (booted out for using money to buy memberships similar to the CCP current scandal in the Federal Liberal Party) is the Mayor. Back in June 2021 the city announced with great fanfare they were buying a new electric fire truck. The announcement claimed it would be the first municipality in Ontario with an electric fire truck and that it would be delivered in late 2022. It now appears the delivery date has been pushed to this spring based on an article from late October. Needless to say Mayor Brown in the announcement bragged about Brampton by stating: “At the City of Brampton, we are working to build an increasingly sustainable community in everything that we do as a Green City.“ He went on to say he was delighted the Fire Department would secure “Ontario’s first fully electric fire truck.” As it turns out the truck is not “fully electric” as it also has a diesel generator on board to charge the battery beyond its two-hour limit. It is also interesting to note Los Angeles claimed it had received America’s first electric fire truck but before it was put into service it’s water tank sprung a leak as a short video demonstrated. Mayor Brown should pray this fire truck doesn’t spring a leak or taxpayers may simply “circle the wagons” at the next municipal election!
The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) created to enforce Ontario’s Circular Economy Laws
The RPRA is the regulator mandated by the Government of Ontario to enforce the province’s circular economy laws. We should guess 99.5% of Ontarians have never heard of RPRA or have any idea of their responsibility or impact on our daily lives. The RPRA was a creation of the Ontario Liberal Government under Premier Kathleen Wynne “in November 2016 to support the transition to a waste-free Ontario”.
What the foregoing means is; “If you purchase batteries, electronics, hazardous and special products, lighting or tires in Ontario, you may see an extra charge added to your receipt called an environmental fee, resource recovery fee, environmental handling fee, tire handling fee, eco-fee, recycling fee or something similar.” In all cases the fee is generally hidden however in some cases your receipt may have a message embedded such as: “The tire producer/manufacturer of the tire and (insert retailer name) are responsible for the recycling fee charged on new tires. All fees collected go towards the collection, transportation and processing costs of recycling used tires.” Regulations such as “O. Reg. 522/20: ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT“ give the province the authority to enforce the collection of those fees and as those fees are included it the price your paying you pay provincial and federal sales taxes. It is interesting to quickly review RPRA’s December 31, 2021 Annual Report and note they claim having 48 fulltime employees and their annual costs for “salaries and benefits” were $5,818,785. Wow, that indicates the annual average cost per employee for that year was in excess of $121K per employee.
This appears to be an example of the jobs our Federal and most Provincial Governments suggest will benefit from the “Just Transition”. Perhaps they forget to give any thought to where the money to pay those salaries and benefits originate if the private sector is decimated due to their net-zero plans!
Cow manure gives power to Ontario’s first carbon negative refuse truck
It now appears as the expression goes; “the sh-t has hit the fan” as recycled cow manure is now powering a refuge truck for Bluewater Recycling Association. The truck is reputedly “fuelled by renewable natural gas (RNG) produced by a local Ontario farm from largely cow manure.“ As farmers have known for decades manure will increase crop yields but not to the degree of mineral fertilizers. The problem of the switch to mineral fertilizers however, in a study over three decades, determined that manure is much better at SOC (social organic carbon) sequestration then mineral fertilizers. What that suggests is using manure to generate RNG may reduce carbon sequestration in soil. Maybe converting cow manure into RNG is not the panacea to achieve net-zero! Somehow however, it is seen by our politicians as a great event as noted by Ontario’s Minister of Energy , Todd Smith quoted in the article stating: “Renewable natural gas is making a difference in communities across Ontario and contributing to green innovation in our energy sector. Leveraging the power of RNG as a flexible and reliable energy source means less waste and lower emissions,”.
One should ask the question; is this simply more horse-sh-t from our politicians in their push towards the “Just Transition” and the creation of their perception of the “circular economy”?
Farmers illegally dismantle emissions system on “every single” tractor
For over a decade farm tractors have come with mandated “Diesel Exhaust Fluid” (DEF) which is urea, and modern machines have systems that inject the substance into the engine’s exhaust stream. A recent article appearing in the Farmers Forum suggests “for just as long, many farmers have been disabling the controversial systems, to save both fuel and maintenance costs.“ The article went on to note “on condition of anonymity, an Ontario diesel mechanic with knowledge of the subject expressed surprise that only 50 % of new tractors and combines might be undergoing a DEF-deletion after purchase. “Every single one is being modified,” he estimated. The mechanic couldn’t blame farmers for doing it. Current DEF systems are extremely expensive to repair and maintain, he said, describing the cost of replacement parts and filters as “atrocious.” He also explained that DEF systems just don’t work very well and cause a tractor to “burn a lot more diesel fuel” than it otherwise would.“
Apparently voiding the DEF system costs thousands of dollars but the money is recuperated in only two years from the diesel fuel savings and a reduction in maintenance costs. It’s hard to fault the farmers for protecting their livelihood and by doing so they are also helping to keep food costs down.
Great to see farmers are doing their part to stop the growth of the “circular economy” as it simply works to create more poverty in Canada and around the world.
It appears politicians in Ontario and elsewhere around the world are doing their very best to create economic sinkholes via the circular economy which continue to consume more and more of our tax dollars.