On August 15, 2019, the Honourable Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks directed the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) and Stewardship Ontario (SO) to, amongst other things, develop a plan to windup the existing Blue Box Program Plan (BBPP) and the CIF as soon as practical and by no later than December 31, 2025. In light of the Minister’s direction and recognizing the operation of the CIF is a requirement of Section 6.6 of the BBPP, RPRA requested that the CIF submit recommendations regarding the windup of its operations.
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the CIF Committee approved release of a draft windup plan for the CIF, for consideration as part of the upcoming consultation process for the BBPP windup.
The draft plan lays out a timeline to windup the CIF in accordance with the Minister’s directives and amends the CIF’s strategic plan for operation of the Fund prior to, and during, windup in a manner that is intended to meet the needs of its stakeholders without interfering with the timely windup of the Fund. The plan outlines key considerations used to develop the proposed windup timeline such as the need to fulfill existing contractual obligations and provide support to municipalities preparing to transition their programs.
The plan’s timeline currently proposes to:
- Cease provision of grants as of September 30, 2021;
- Continue delivery of transitional and program support services with emphasis being placed on transitional support activities up until December 31, 2023;
- Cease public operations on December 31, 2023; and
- Initiate a windup of the CIF’s operations in 2024 with an expectation that such activities will be completed by no later than June 30, 2024.
A new governance model for the operation of the CIF is proposed to take effect upon gazetting of the new program regulation. The plan also provides for the disbursal of any remaining CIF funds up to, and upon, termination of the Fund.
While there is considerable uncertainty given the tragic events unfolding around us, plans are being formulated to solicit input from stakeholders into the finalization of the CIF and BBPP windup plans. SO will be consulting publicly on their plans to windup the BBPP, with a goal of submitting a plan to RPRA by June 30, 2020. Visit the SO Blue Box Program Windup webpage for the latest information. RPRA will then consult on both the CIF and BBPP windup plans with a goal of approval of a final plan by December 31, 2020. The CIF will continue to work closely with both SO and RPRA to develop opportunities to solicit stakeholder input. In the interim, we encourage you to review the document and provide your thoughts to CIF, SO or RPRA staff.