What Cowichan Valley business can afford to take a $ 50,000-plus hit? Every business owner out there just winced.
Which is what we’re doing here at the Cowichan Valley Citizen, since that’s the bill that’s due next month as the B. C. government implements its ill-conceived Multi-Material BC program.
MMBC will take over existing recycling programs previously run successfully by municipalities.
As far as we can tell, nobody was crying for a change.
Especially not one that will see control of recycling handed over to a group of multi-national corporations based in Ontario.
That said, the municipalities in the Cowichan Valley thus far don’t seem too concerned about the implementation of the program, as they will receive compensation from MMBC. But they should be concerned.
Everybody should be.
The Citizen, and every other community newspaper on Vancouver Island and across the province, will have no choice but to take action to try to stem the bleeding on our bottom line.
What that will mean is less or even no space for free or discounted ads. These types of ads are done to help out our many non-profit organizations in the Cowichan Valley.
So the end victims of the MMBC program will not only be the newspapers that tell you about your community and the people in it, but also the Canadian Cancer Society, the MS Society, Providence Farm and the United Way.
We don’t want to do this.
These are important organizations that do great work in the community.
But we have to keep our doors open and keep paying our staff and that means, when we are being charged for every sheet of newsprint we put out, that we have to make those costs back.
In other communities, the cost at the newsstand will go up.
We don’t object to recycling programs. In other places where there are similar programs newspapers are exempt or costs are a fraction of what we’re being told we have to pay here in B. C.
The stated goal of the program is to eventually cut down on the packaging and waste we produce as a society, by having the producers of this waste pay the bill.
Most of us would welcome the idea of not having to remove two or three layers of packaging when we purchase an item.
The swirling country-sized islands of waste in our oceans will thank us for it.
But newspapers like the Citizen are produced on almost entirely recycled paper as it is. We’re doing our part.
Cutting down on packaging and waste is a laudable goal.
What the B. C. government isn’t acknowledging is that newspapers are neither of those things.