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Getting the green grade - NOW Toronto

One half of the mayoral candidates pass with flying colours, while the other half flunk out on their environmental report card.

Paul Terefenko
13 October 2010
NOW Toronto

A big fat ugly F. That’s what Rob Ford earned on his latest report card from the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA).

“Mr. Ford failed to respond to our survey or even tell us why he wouldn't fill it out,” reads the note attached to his grade. “He clearly does not consider the environment an important issue nor does he consider it important to talk to Torontonians about an issue they care about,” adds the evaluation.

That’s not really a surprise. We already know plenty about Ford. What is a little more surprising is that Rocco Rossi scored the same failing grade. “Despite repeated attempts at contacting Mr. Rossi for his answers, he failed to respond to any of our efforts. He also failed to show up to our mayoral debate, even after committing to it,” reads his assessment.

That leaves George Smitherman and Joe Pantalone.

Smitherman fared well, earning 18/20, but lost points for not ruling out burning garbage and not giving a thumbs up to T.O.’s bike plan. More concerning was that TEA found some of his questionnaire responses (specifically relating to transit) didn’t mesh with policies in his platform.

Was George just saying what he needed to say for a good mark?

The only sure bet from the mayoral race foursome was Joe Pantalone. The deputy mayor scored a perfect 20/20. He seems to have the vision for a green city clear in his sights. He’s clear on his commitment to Transit City, Sustainable Energy Strategy and dealing with the city’s waste.

The survey itself is pretty straightforward, asking yes/no questions in categories like building and funding Transit City, achieving 70 per cent waste diversion by 2011, supporting locally produced products, supporting complete streets, implementing the Sustainable Energy Strategy, and dealing with pollution.

What’s probably more useful than the info on mayoral candidates is what TEA offers for individual candidates for council around town. Often very little can be pulled from ward war profiles, and TEA does a solid job breaking down each candidate. Make sure to check out how your ward’s hopefuls fared here.

As originally published here: http://www.nowtoronto.com/guides/voteto/2010/story.cfm?content=177187

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