In the early fall of 1995, the environment minister in the new Harris government, Brenda Elliott, brought the CIPSI proposal forward to the Priorities and Planning Committee of Cabinet.
25) The waste management industry was concerned that subsidies for municipal recycling would place private sector recycling at a competitive disadvantage, and also may have opposed CIPSI because it was a policy process they were not part of and could not control.
The CIPSI industries, for their part, sent a letter dated November 21, 1996 to the premier, stating they were "disappointed that there has been no decision about the CIPSI proposal, in the face of a last-minute objection.
One possible explanation for the abandonment of CIPSI is that the business associations that sent the "unusual step" letter in October 1995 were politically stronger than CIPSI supporters, and thus better able to influence the Ontario government.
A more satisfactory explanation comes from looking at the motivations and actions of the CIPSI industries themselves.
The proposed CIPSI product stewardship funding was "voluntary" to the extent that it was not mandated by law - but it rested on the legal basis of the backdrop regulation and imposed new costs on industry.
Instead, we conclude that the initiative was killed by the CIPSI coalition itself The CIPSI proposal existed only because it was seen by that industry group as less expensive, and therefore preferable, to the regulatory alternative of mandatory refillable sales or Green Dot take-back programmes.
As we have seen, the CIPSI industries continued to press for their programme in the summer of 1995, after the new government was elected.
The failure of the CIPSI initiative demonstrates the ineffectiveness of voluntarism as an alternative to law.
16 The other CIPSI members were the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, the Canadian Soft Drink Association, the Environment and Plastic Institute of Canada, the Packaging Association of Canada and the Retail Council of Canada.