Cost should not be a barrier to those wanting their final resting place in nature.
Cemeteries set their own prices for burial plots, and included in that cost is a fee for the perpetual care of the cemetery. The national average per grave is 13%, but in Ontario, we must pay a fee of 40%. This fee hugely inflates the cost of a natural burial.
We are asking the Ontario Government to HALVE the fee for natural burial grounds, because without the need for mowing, pesticides/herbicides, and tombstone upkeep, natural cemeteries are a fraction of the cost to maintain compared to conventional cemeteries.
In 2022, the Ontario Government raised the fee a new cemetery operator must pay for a license from $100,000 to $165,000. In every other province and territory (but one) that fee is $0. This fee is anti-small business and anti-competitive. It obstructs the creation of natural burial grounds in Ontario, and prevents our freedom of choice.
We are asking the Ontario Government to EXEMPT new operators of natural burial grounds from this fee.
Poll results indicate that 73% of Ontarians want these fees lowered, yet when the Natural Burial Association met with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services in 2021, the government was unmoved. We ask the new government to stop taxing grieving families seeking a gentler goodbye and introduce fair fees that reflect the reduced costs of running natural burial grounds.