Waste diversion in Ontario is spawning an unusual amount of
litigation this year.
Ontario (WDO), the delegated administrative
authority which oversees several waste diversion programs
under the Waste Diversion Act, is sending its breach of contract dispute with Stewardship Ontario to
arbitration. This is separate from the Blue Box funding
arbitration that began last week before arbitrator Robert
According to the WDO, it is "exercising the
dispute resolution option contained in the Blue Box and MHSW
(Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste) Program Agreements to
help resolve the outstanding issues stemming from
the Management Services Agreement executed between Stewardship
Ontario and the Canadian Stewardship Services
Alliance (CSSA)" so that WDO can continue to properly
exercise its oversight responsibilities. This appears to be part of
the fallout of stewards' attempt to take national control of a
series of provincial waste diversion programs. As part of this
effort, stewards have allegedly moved staff, assets and information
from the provincially regulated Stewardship Ontario to a new
national entity, the CSSA.
WDO's public letter to Stewardship Ontario says:
"As you know, we advised Stewardship Ontario that its
actions concerning the CSSA/SO MSA are in breach of the Blue Box and MHSW Program Agreements in December,
2013 ... It is Waste Diversion Ontario's position that Stewardship
Ontario has entered into a subcontract without the prior consent of Waste Diversion Ontario, contrary to the Program
Agreements between Stewardship Ontario and Waste Diversion Ontario. Specifically, in July, 2013 Stewardship
Ontario executed a Management Services Agreement with the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance Inc. without either
informing WDO of this agreement, or seeking WDO's prior consent. As I have stated previously, we require details concerning the
implementation of the MSA, including the transfer of SO staff and administrative responsibilities to CSSA, in order
to ensure that the Blue Box and MHSW programs continue to be operated effectively. In addition, given the
apparent extensive transfer of both BB and MHSW program management and administration from SO to CSSA, as
articulated in the executed MSA, WDO must have an explicit written undertaking from CSSA that provides for access
to information and data held and managed by CSSA for
the BB and MHSW programs, to ensure that WDO is able to exercise
its oversight responsibility for these two programs.
CSSA/SO have refused to provide this undertaking. Waste Diversion Ontario will be seeking an order
preventing Stewardship Ontario from implementing the MSA
(or continuing to implement the MSA) and other
appropriate relief until such time as WDO receives this
information, the above data and information access
issues have been addressed, and the WDO Board has approved the
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