Official Response to Supreme Court Ruling Over Bag Bylaw

SURFRIDER FOUNDATION VANCOUVER ISLAND RESPONSE TO SUPREME COURT RULING OVER THE CITY OF VICTORIA’S CHECKOUT BAG REGULATION BYLAW

On January 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it will not hear the City of Victoria’s appeal to the overturning of its Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw by the BC Court of Appeal.

Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island recognizes that its previous campaign victory in helping enact the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw in the City of Victoria has played a significant role in influencing the BC provincial government’s province-wide plan on plastics regulation. This plan is set to include bans on several kinds of single-use packaging, the expansion of producer responsibility for plastics recycling, heightening our bottle deposit system, and other policies and regulatory changes.

Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island sees this ruling as an opportunity, as the City of Victoria will be heading to the Ministry of Environment over the next week to gain approval of the Bylaw. Mayor Lisa Helps will also be continuing to push for the elimination of plastic waste in the City, which includes working with the provincial and federal government to develop high and shared standards.

Since the Bylaw’s enactment on July 1, 2018, the City stated that an estimated 17 million plastic bags have been eliminated from Victoria’s waste streams, resulting in both short-term and long-term cost savings for waste management. Many Victoria businesses are still on board with keeping single-use plastic bags out of their retail spaces by operating as if the Bylaw was still in place.