May 19 has come and gone, now Victoria must be accountable for MMBC mess

The Province's new recycling fee system has been implemented, and Buckerfields CEO Kelvin McCulloch has noticed the trickle...

B.C. is entering into a blue box battle

B.C. is entering into a blue box battle

By Kelvin McCulloch

CEO Buckerfields

**********

On May 19, 2014, the Province’s ill-advised Recycling Regulation for printed paper and packaging material took effect.

Up until then, we had the opportunity to talk hypothetically about the significant number of serious issues with this program. And we hoped that government would behave responsibly by delaying and rethinking the program to avoid the inevitable mess.

But May 19 came and went.

There was no delay, and one of the largest, most coercive and heavily flawed government programs in B.C. history took effect.

Two days later, the first fundamental truth about the MMBC program was confirmed to me. Two little pieces of paper arrived in my office, two supplier invoices showing a half a percent upcharge to cover MMBC’s fees.

Fair enough, payment approved, retail prices adjusted accordingly. With that simple bit of standard management accounting, the cost of recycling printed paper and packaging under the new regulation was passed on to the consumer. It had to be.

We knew that was going to be the case and we told the government. Yes, “the train had already left the station” as we heard government say, but Extended Producer Responsibility was a false concept that wasn’t really on the train for most of the cost.

There is no such thing as magic money. The money comes from the consumer. Everyone knows that. As time goes on, the other myths set up around the MMBC program will give way to reality and the hypothetical problems will be seen to be real.

For my part, this exercise in grass roots democracy has opened my eyes. No one can ever take good government or accountable government for granted.

Every once in a while it gets so bad you just have to get off the couch and do something about it. This was a hard realization, especially on May 19 when it became clear the program was still going ahead.

On the other hand, there has been a revelation, a silver lining in the cloud.

So many good people have come forward and spoken up, community-minded people who understand the importance of responsible and accountable government, good and honest business people who just want to do the right thing. This has been an inspiration. You are the protectors of our democracy. Bravo.

Going forward, it would seem that some of us have more work to do to cause the MMBC program to be re-engineered and put under proper public oversight.

That is exactly what we are going to do. And we are going to focus on solutions while we stand up for the people who are being mistreated, who are afraid to speak up, who think they are losing their job or their business because of this ill-advised program.

In final analysis, I believe the B.C. government stood to gain the most by delaying the implementation of the MMBC program.

Now, Victoria will have to be held accountable for every outcome that really occurs while we try to find a way out of the mess.

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read