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CouncilWatch - October 6 2008

In this edition:

  1. Vote for the Planet on Election Day
  2. Just 2 Weeks Left to Show Your Support for a Local and Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy for Toronto!
  3. Lots of Green Initiatives at City Council this Fall
  4. Help Put a Face on Community Right to Know

(1) Vote for the Planet on Election Day   

Wondering what environmental questions to ask federal candidates when they visit you at the door? TEA has three suggestions:

  1. Will you agree to halt development of the Alberta Tar Sands?
  2. Do you support a national transit strategy?
  3. Will you work to ban bisphenol A from food and beverage containers?

See more details our recommendations here.

For more information on what other environmentalists are doing visit www.voteenvironment2008.ca


(2) Just 2 Weeks Left to Show Your Support for a Local and Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy for Toronto!

Sign the petition!

Please take a minute and sign our petition.

For every signature we collect we’ll send a fresh Ontario apple to Toronto City Council!!!

We want to send a clear message of support for local and sustainable food.

What better way than with bushels of fresh and delicious Ontario apples?

Right now the City of Toronto spends $11 million per year on food for its daycares, shelters, and seniors’ homes. We want to make sure that they start buying local and sustainable food first!

To make this happen we need to get a local and sustainable food purchasing policy passed at the October 21st Government Management committee meeting and then at October’s City Council meeting.

Council unanimously supported this idea as part of their Smog and Climate Change plan. 

The time for action is NOW!

Help us convince Councillors to adopt a local and sustainable food procurement policy at their October meetings. 

Sign the Petition and Send an Apple to City Council.
 
For more information and to find out what else you can do to help call us at 416-596-0660 or email jamie@torontoenvironment.org.

(3) Lots of Green Initiatives at City Council this Fall

It’s already been a busy time at City Hall this Fall. Council adopted the Mayor’s Tower Renewal Project which aims to do energy retrofits to 1,000 large concrete apartment buildings in Toronto. This initiative alone is estimated to reduce Toronto’s overall GHG emissions by between 3-5%.

This month, a local food procurement plan will be considered by the Government Management Committee on October 21st and then go to City Council on October 28-29. On October 22nd, the Toronto Board of Health will review the Community Right to Know Bylaw (CRTK) and hopefully send it to the City Council meeting in early December for adoption.

In November, we expect the Executive Committee to consider a report on how the City will meet its GHG reduction targets through energy efficiency and renewable power.

All in all, by the end of the year Torontonians should have a fairly good idea how “green” this City Council really is.

(4) Help Put a Face on Community Right to Know

In December, the Community Right to Know Bylaw will be voted on at City Council.  We need to do all we can to encourage Councillors to vote YES for this precedent setting toxics disclosure policy.

The need for this bylaw was made especially clear on August 10th after the Sunrise Propane explosion. Had a Community Right to Know (CRTK) bylaw been in place, firefighters, police, paramedics and residents would have known whether neighbouring businesses had toxic chemicals on site and therefore how to respond effectively.

In this final push towards a bylaw, we plan to collect, print and distribute a booklet of personal short stories – stories of how individuals have been affected by toxic chemicals, smog and pollution.

We need you to share your story
Are you...

  • An individual struggling with chemical sensitivities?
  • A parent concerned with asthma and the level of smog in this City?
  • Someone who experiences unhealthy side effects from working in a toxic environment?
  • Worried about what a business is doing in your neighbourhood?

Then, we want to hear from you. Send us a short, “first person” testimonial (200 words maximum). Your name can be kept anonymous if requested.

This booklet will be distributed to City Councillors in November.  We are weeks away from the vote – let’s put real faces and real people to this issue to ensure our Councillors make the right choice for our health and the environment.

Please share with us.

Send stories to Lina Cino, Toxics Campaigner lina@torontoenvironment.org, 416-596-0660.

Or simply filly in the form below!