I think I can feel your disappointment through the electrons!
This is the sort of thing that gives governments a bad name - it's a tax wasting power struggle. At the federal level they're already planning to ban some single use plastics in another year, so challenging it in court makes no sense. The statement in the link that suggests they are looking at a provincial wide standard doesn't respect that local government is supposed to respond to what the local people want. A City's laws should respond and respect what is unique and important to that city. I somehow doubt that the Mayor and Counsel of Victoria would have pushed for this ban, if the local businesses were dead set against it. I don't see how it could be seen as impacting the Provincial Government.
I understood the ban was to save the city money on waste problems. Our sewer and storm drain empty directly into the ocean and are sensitive to being clogged by plastic film. The dump is looking like it will fill up 20 to 50 years early, I'm told. All this costs the city a lot of money.
They put environmental issues on it as a sugar to make voters swallow it better.
I wonder why the municipality didn't just go and ask the Minister of the Environment for approval. I read it more as a precedent-setting issue with regards to jurisdiction than anything else.
The municipality taking the reigns in this case might not be a problem, but what if measures it was taking were counterproductive to provincial initiatives being written up?
Personally, I think it logical that whoever is in charge of dealing with the waste stream needs at least some control over what is allowed in terms of packaging and packing materials. I would like to see a system-wide review of subsidies, and have them redistributed to favour permaculturally-aligned best-practices.
No more subsidies to extractive industries and polluters, first off. I would extend that to monocropping, anything that is so intensive that it requires spraying, anything that "requires" the use of glyphosate or its successor products. In fact, I think that including environmental and social costs in economics and basic cost accounting, and then passing those costs on to the producer would spur innovations in the environment and in society.
As I am a proponent of the carrot-and-stick school of thought, I would probably subsidise, or otherwise incent, people losing their subsidies to attend learning sessions where adaptation to a post-monocrop, post-spray world is taught, and likewise reward those who plan and carry out a successful season of a modified plan.
No more subsidies for transport, or blanket subsidies, but level the playing field, such that emergent electric-based alternative technology for transport and other applications can be more profitable due to efficiency and lack of environmental costs.
There should be subsidies for mass-transit on every level. Local rail transport should be subsidised entirely by all levels of government (by us, who pay the taxes that make things go). Nobody should have to pay anything to get to work or for the commute that lets them live their lives. Longer-distance travel, between towns, say, trips of a half-hour or more from one municipality to another, should also be subsidised at least to the extent that anyone can travel anywhere on the system.
Subsidies should also exist for transportation companies who choose to take their cargo by rail rather than transport truck, but whole-cost accounting would play a role there, too.
I do apologise for this bit of ramble, but interconnected as it all is, it's almost unavoidable.
I always thought it assinine that grocery stores would charge customers for plastic bags. The reason plastic was widely adopted was because it was cheaper and more durable than the paper that was the only alternative at the time. They adopted plastic to widen their margins, and the responsibility for shifting away from them has been shifted to us, who have to remember our reusable bags, or else pay extra for the polluting garbage ones.
In some ways, what we do is all that matters, because larger entities won't do anything that isn't for their bottom line or shareholders (or their electorate), whoever they are. In others, nothing we do matters, because every movement is merchandised and commercialised.
Want to save the planet? Buy CFLs, I mean LEDs, yeah, that's it.
Want to eliminate your use of plastic grocery bags? Buy these somewhat more durable also-plastic bags.
Want to save the (enter whatever critically endangered animal or biosphere currently en vogue here)? Buy our product, and we will donate a percentage to a charity that will eat up most of the donations in administrative fees.
Greed is winning. It is left to those cynical and capable among us to harness that greed to pull the wagon of change.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Destiny's powerful hand has made the bed of my future. And this tiny ad:
Hope in a World of Crisis - Water Cycle Restoration