In this issue
Bag Ban By-law rejected
In a narrow vote, Council rejected the plastic bag ban by-law it voted for in June 2012 that would ban all single-use plastic shopping bags in Toronto in January. The reversal came after the Canadian Plastic Bag Association sued the City over the by-law.
Combined with the elimination of the plastic bag fee in June 2012, Toronto has taken some major steps backwards for the environment. See media coverage of the issue in TEA's News Room.
The good news is that Council will discuss ways to reduce plastic bag use again in June 2013.
Hopefully this is a time for considered discussion about what is good for the environment and for Toronto.
2013 Waste & Water Budgets
Industrial water polluters subsidized by residents
Council voted to continue a discount for industrial water polluters in 2013. A slim majority of Councillors listened to local industry and ignored staff and City Auditor recommendations to stop this discount. The result is that residents will subsidize industrial polluters by $2.9 million annually.
Waste budget limits future capital investment
Councillors voted against a 2.1% increase in waste fees (the rate of inflation), equal to between $5 and $8 per household. This delays the solid waste capital plan and puts more pressure on future years for rate increases. The good news is that Council asked staff to outline a plan to get green bins into apartments and condos in 2013. Read more.
Toronto Capital & Operating Budget 2013
In the coming weeks, Council will be faced with more important environmental decisions as they vote on the tax-supported budget for all other city functions. Read more about the budget process on our website.
TEA will continue to research the issues, talk with the media, and meet with Councillors to ensure the environment is on the agenda at City Hall.
We'll do our best to continue fighting the influence of powerful industry lobbyists who are working against building a greener city for all.