Ford, Rossi receive failing grades on environmental group’s report card - Globe and Mail
13 October 2010
City Hall Bureau Chief
Globe and Mail
Mayoral candidates Rob Ford and Rocco Rossi both received failing grades from the Toronto Environmental Alliance because they declined to fill out the green group’s survey.
But the campaigns say they refused because TEA passed out a biased survey.
George Smitherman and Joe Pantalone, meanwhile, both garnered A+ grades.
“Given that the most recent polls have shown Mr. Ford as the potential front-runner, we find this exceptionally bizarre that he chose not to use the report card to talk to Torontonians about an issue they care about,” Franz Hartmann, the executive director of TEA, said Wednesday.
The non-profit environmental lobby group judged the candidates on how closely their platforms adhered to six TEA priorities. The organization asked 20 questions, including whether the contenders would commit to building the Transit City light-rail system exactly as envisioned in 2007; whether they would rule out incinerating garbage; whether they would keep Toronto Hydro publicly owned; and whether they would complete the city’s bike plan by 2012, including installing new lanes on arterial roads.
“This survey was clearly biased,” Mr. Ford said in a statement. “It may as well have been written by David Miller himself. I'm not going to pander to special interest groups or promise to spend money we don't have.” Mr. Rossi also objected to the questions.
“We all want a greener Toronto but TEA’s agenda is not widely shared by Torontonians. TEA does not share my belief in contracting out garbage, exploring new and emerging technologies to deal with out garbage problems, selling Toronto Hydro to pay down the debt to invest in subways, reducing the size of council, term limits, etc,” Mr. Rossi said in a statement.
TEA also criticized Mr. Rossi for missing its debate, which fell on the same night as the candidate’s major fall fundraiser.
The two candidates who did fill out the survey - Mr. Smitherman and Mr. Pantalone - scored well. Mr. Pantalone scored 100 per cent, saying yes to all 20 questions posed by TEA.
Mr. Smitherman scored 90 per cent. He said yes to 18 of the questions, but refused to rule out incineration or agree to implement the bike plan with lanes on arterial roads by 2012.
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