More MOE cuts from Ontario Budget

The Ministry of the Environment will make some more changes, as announced in the Addendum to last week’s provincial budget. Drive Clean will be spun out to a fee-based Delegated Administrative Authority. The bridge financing for household hazardous waste disposal that hastily plugged the Ecofee hole will be cut, and the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act funding announced last year has been cancelled.

“Ministry of the Environment

($ Millions) 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 3-year total
Proposed Drive Clean Office Transfer to a Delegated Administrative Authority Model (11.0) (11.0)

The Drive Clean Office is responsible for the management and administration of Drive Clean, Ontario’s mandatory vehicle-emissions inspection and maintenance program.

Drive Clean has been operating since 1999, and over four million vehicles are tested annually. As it is a mature program that fully recovers its operating costs through revenue, Drive Clean is a proposed candidate for delivery through a Delegated Administrative Authority (DAA) model.

As a DAA, Drive Clean would be fully funded by its own revenue, eliminating the need for funding from the ministry.

Ministry of the Environment

($ Millions) 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 3-year total
Waste Program (1.7) (3.5) (3.5) (8.7)

The ministry has funding to manage hazardous wastes through a new grant program under the Selected Household Hazardous Waste Initiative.

Funding was allocated to support the collection and management of some selected wastes through retail locations, such as pharmacies. The ministry is working on options for continued management of these wastes at a reduced cost.

($ Millions) 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 3-year total
Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act Savings (7.4) (3.0) (10.4)

As part of the 2011 Budget, the ministry announced funding of $30 million over three years to support the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act, 2010, including community demonstration projects, municipal water sustainability planning, and education and public awareness.

The municipal water sustainability planning support was intended to help municipalities offset the costs of developing these plans. However, regulation requiring municipalities to develop these plans is not in place and funding is not expected to flow to municipalities. Consequently, the ministry will refocus these resources on other government priorities.