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Environmental group grades mayoral candidates on green policy, Front-runner Rob Ford refuses to complete survey - InsideToronto

13 October 2010
David Nickle

The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has given high marks to mayoral candidates Joe Pantalone and George Smitherman for their stand on five environmental issues — but chided front-runner Rob Ford for failing to even answer the environmental advocacy organization’s survey.

“Given that the most recent polls have shown Mr. Ford a front-runner, we find it exceptionally bizarre that he chose not to use the report card to talk to Torontonians about an issue they care about,” said TEA Executive Director Franz Hartmann at a Wednesday morning news conference. “Torontonians expect better from someone who wants to be mayor.”

Hartmann and TEA have been strong advocates for environmental issues during Mayor David Miller’s tenure over the past seven years — contributing to the city’s green policy and operating as major players in city politics during that time.

The survey that they sent out went first to city council candidates and then to mayoral candidates. It outlines 20 yes-no questions based on six priorities: building Transit City and funding it; achieving 70 per cent waste diversion by 2012; buying and supporting locally produced green products; building transportation infrastructure everyone can use; implementing the city’s sustainable energy strategy; and providing tools to prevent pollution.

The two candidates who answered the survey — Smitherman and Pantalone — both did well by TEA’s reckoning. Pantalone scored 100 per cent agreement with the organization’s goals for the city, and Smitherman scored 90 per cent.

“It is very heartening to see two of the four front-runner candidates having high grades,” said Hartmann. “He’s shown the strongest commitment to the environment and if elected mayor, Mr. Pantalone has promised to move on all six environmental priorities. Mr. Smitherman received 90 per cent. He’s shown a clear commitment to the environment. This is a great grade but he did stumble on two issues: he refused to rule out incineration as an option and he refused to fully implement the city’s bike plan.”

As well, he said Smitherman’s statement that he supported the full implementation of Transit City doesn’t match with Smitherman’s platform — which alters Transit City and doesn’t mention elements such as the Jane Street LRT, which is currently not funded.

Reached after a Toronto Board of Trade speech, Ford said he wasn’t concerned about the scolding he received from Hartmann.

“You know — do I support some of their stances on how great the taxing and spending is? I don’t support it,” said Ford. “I’m not going to agree to saying all these taxes are great, when they’re not. That’s what they’re saying and I don’t support that. I don’t agree with this sort of tax and spend mentality.

As originally published here: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/article/887450--environmental-group-grades-mayoral-candidates-on-green-policy

2010-10-13 Environmental group grades mayoral candidates on green policy _InsideToronto_.pdf16.75 KB