November 15, 2012 – Toronto – Citing the harm to Toronto businesses, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) has moved forward with legal action against the City of Toronto to halt the implementation of the City’s proposed plastic bag by-law, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

On behalf of its members OCSA is opposing the draft by-law on several grounds, including that the by-law falls outside the City’s jurisdiction pursuant to the City of Toronto Act, and was approved without a proper consultation process. OCSA has retained Eric S. Block and Ronald Podolny of McCarthy Tétrault LLP to prosecute the case.

“Convenience stores have taken legal action against the City of Toronto to prevent this unfair and poorly thought-out by-law from being implemented. The proposed by-law is invalid and was rushed forward with essentially no consultation with the businesses it will harm,” said Dave Bryans, CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association. “The by-law selectively exempts dozens of plastic bags, but targets a single type – one that many retailers rely upon and that research shows consumers frequently re-use after they carry home their purchases.”

A typical consumer purchase at a convenience store includes a variety of small items. The business model of convenience stores also often relies on impulse purchases along with staples like milk and bread. The ability to provide consumers with reliable, strong and cost-effective bags to carry their purchases home is a vital part of convenience stores’ ability to meet consumer demand.

“Torontonians don’t normally drop into convenience stores with reusable bags. If merchants are prohibited from providing plastic bags, shoppers will be less likely to make purchases and that will mean Toronto’s small, family-run convenience stores will be hit hardest,” added Bryans.