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Voters not likely to forget eco fee fiasco

Dropping eco fees may be the best way for the Ontario government to cutits losses on the confusing, unpopular policy, but its effects will befelt for the next three months at least.

Dropping eco fees may be the best way for the Ontario government to cut its losses on the confusing, unpopular policy, but its effects will be felt for the next three months at least.

Even though stores are no longer charging the fee, Environment Minister John Gerretsen said the government will still pay $5 million to keep the program going.

“For the next 90 days, the government will absorb — through our general taxes — the cost of running the program,” he said.

Beyond that, Gerretsen said, “it remains to be seen” how the program will be funded.

Jonathan Malloy, an associate professor of political science at Carleton University, said the effect of the eco fees could linger when voters go to the polls next year. “Any time you bring in an unpopular policy and then you get rid of it you get hit both ways, one for coming up with a bad idea, then you may look weak for backing down,” he said.

tim wieclawski, with files from the canadian press