TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford wants to trash Toronto’s new plastic bag ban by the fall.
Ford vowed Thursday he will do everything he can to throw out the “ludicrous” bag ban council approved Wednesday night.
Councillors voted to ban Toronto retailers from offering single-use, plastic shopping bags to customers effective Jan. 1.
In the wake of the bag ban vote, the mayor was on the offensive - slamming the ban on talk radio and branding it “the dumbest thing council has done.”
Despite the fact it was championed by a member of his own executive, Ford didn’t pull his punches while speaking to reporters at City Hall Thursday.
“We’ve done some dumb things but I think banning plastic bags, this is just outright stupid never mind dumb,” Ford said.
From his conversations with the city solicitor Ford said he expects a report back this fall that will outline the problems with the ban.
“She thinks we won’t be able to win this in court and that we shouldn’t have done this in the first place,” he said.
“I think when that gets to the executive committee, some of the councillors that voted in favour of this ban will reverse their vote and I don’t see this ban going through as expected Jan. 1.”
“I don’t think we’re going to win in court, neither does our legal staff,” he added.
Although he applauded the fact council voted to scrap the five-cent plastic bag fee Wednesday, Ford vowed he will fight an outright bag ban.
“I’m going to do everything I can (to undo this),” he said. All I can do right now is make sure the report gets to executive in September and take it from there.”
During an interview on AM640, Ford blamed the ban on residents not being involved enough in municipal politics.
“It’s the people’s fault. Sometimes I get so frustrated because the people are just sitting back listening but they don’t pick up the phone, they don’t go down to City Hall, they don’t ask questions … it’s frustrating,” he said.
Councillor Josh Colle disagreed with Ford’s assessment the ban was the “dumbest thing” council has ever done.
He said “as an outside observer he’s seen a lot of dumb things happen” at City Hall.
“Maybe one of the dumb things was bringing it back to the floor and it was a bit of a Pandora’s Box that was opened,” Colle said. “We got to a policy position in a speedier way than we thought but when you look around the world Italy has done it, Ireland has done it, Seattle is doing it, L.A. has and so it seemed like we were kind of dickering around.
“If it is so evil, man up and do it,” he added.