|The City of Toronto has banned the use of plastic bags is set to take effect January 2013. (QMI Agency files)
TORONTO — The Ontario Convenience Stores Association says it wants city council to trash the plastic bag ban because it falls outside the city's jurisdiction and is so vague it violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The group also says the council approved the ban without proper public consultations.
The ban, which council approved in June, is set to take effect Jan. 1.
In a letter obtained by QMI Agency, the association's lawyer urges council to scrap the ban "forthwith."
"Should council fail to rescind the resolution, OCSA will consider seeking a judicial declaration of the invalidity of the resolution and such other and further relief as may be appropriate," the letter says.
The OCSA couldn't be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.
A media report published Tuesday suggests city legal staff are expected to ask council at next week's council meeting to delay the start of the ban.
Coun. David Shiner — who championed the bag ban — said it is up to council to decide what to do, but he thinks councillors should stand by their decision.
"We considered it, we wanted to not charge the five cents, we got rid of the five-cent fee, but the merchants have continued to charge the five cents," Shiner said.
Shiner said merchants are still making "millions of dollars" on bag fees.
Deputy mayor Doug Holyday said at the very least council should put off the start of the ban.
"I think we have to make a case for (a ban) and I don't think we've made a case," Holyday said Tuesday. "I think that there will be legal ramifications to trying to ban bags that haven't been addressed yet."
Coun. Karen Stintz said she's received mixed feedback since council voted for the ban.
"Some people feel it is a good environmental initiative, but we do have a bag manufacturer in the city that makes plastic bags that will be impacted if council decides to restrict the distribution of plastic bags within the municipality," she said. "I do think we need to be thoughtful in terms of how we move forward."