Council Watch - When the weather gives you lemons...

When the weather gives Toronto lemons, TEA makes lemonade! In this issue, TEA gets results at City Hall and raises media attention about Etobicoke's air pollution solutions and the ice storm's lesson for us all.

TEA gets results at City Hall on climate change preparedness

Mother Nature gave us a peek into our climate change future and a chance to do more than simply react to disasters. While city and hydro crews were repairing crucial infrastructure devastated by the ice storm, TEA started planning for what City Council should do to ensure the next time a severe weather event hits, the city is more prepared. Right after New Year’s Day, TEA’s Executive Director submitted a commentary that was published in the Toronto Star called Lessons for Toronto city council from Mother Nature.

[Flickr Image by Canadian Pacific]

Last week, City Hall was preparing for an emergency Council meeting to ask for Provincial and Federal funding to deal with the July flood and December ice storm. TEA was there talking to Councillors and themedia. Our message was simple: it’s not enough to deal with the aftermath of these storms. We also need to prepare the city for future severe weather events, which scientists say will increase as the climate changes.

TEA proposed a set of specific actions City Hall should take in the next year to improve Toronto's resiliency to climate change and severe weather events. On Monday, January 13, City Council unanimously approved TEA's recommendations when they were put forward by Scarborough Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker.

Read the full list of actions City Council adopted, including TEA's recommendations (Section 5 l.) & z.).

Cancer risk in
S. Etobicoke

This week, a City of Toronto local air quality study in South Etobicoke found an increased risk of cancer in the community due to air pollution. The major source is transportation emissions from cars & trucks.

In the last few days, TEA's DeTOx Toronto Campaigner spoke to media about this issue and was featured on a CityNews exclusive, 680 News, Humber College Radio, and CBC News.

While it may not be surprising to learn that Highway 427 and the Gardiner Expressway are impacting our health, we now know exactly which chemicals to target for toxics reduction and cancer prevention. Rather than experience 'toxic shock', TEA wants residents and City Council to spring into action. There are solutions out there!

Learn more about the South Etobicoke Air Quality Study results, how to research air pollution, and steps we can take for action on TEA's webpage!

Like what you read in Council Watch this week? 



We rely on hundreds of volunteers each year to create a Greener City for All.

Our next Volunteer Orientation Session is Feb. 4th at the TEA office.

Want to learn more about volunteering, the upcoming training session and how to RSVP? Visit our Volunteer page.

Reducing Water Pollution

In December, City Council voted to have stakeholder consultations in 2014 regarding changes to the Toronto Water Prevention Pollution Program for businesses.

It is hoped that these important changes will reduce toxic chemicals like Chromium-6 and Mercury levels, which move through our sewer system and can end up in Lake Ontario.

Learn more.

TEA in Hamilton

TEA joined other members of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance(OGA) in Hamilton this week to discuss working together to grow and strengthen the Greenbelt.

Save Energy & Money

Kudos to Green Living Online for writing 10 easy ways to cut our energy bills this winter