In February 2010, TEA released six environmental priorities - endorsed by over 40 community groups - that set a course for Toronto’s City Council to build a greener city for all.
Over two years later, it’s time to see where City Council has taken Toronto’s environmental agenda.
This report reviews the direction Council was expected to take for each priority, the direction Council ended up taking, and the direction Council needs to take next.
The good news is that we’re still pointed in the right direction to build a greener city. The bad news is that we’ve mostly been travelling in circles, and we’ve done very little to solve the important environmental problems facing Toronto.
Travelling in circles, however, is not always bad – especially when we could have been moving backwards. Some on Council made it their priority to cut city programs and services, including important environmental ones. Transit City was declared dead, and through the Core Service Review and budget process, waste diversion services, bike lanes, pollution regulations, the entire Toronto Environment Office, and the Sustainable Energy Strategy were up for cuts. Not surprisingly, City Councillors talked a lot about whether or not to support this new direction.
Thankfully, Council did not head in a direction that sacrifices the environment.
As this report shows, City Council largely rejected attempts to cut important environmental programs. This is a reason to celebrate. But, there is still much to do. This report recommends Council stop travelling in circles and once again chart a course towards building a greener city for all.
For Torontonians, this report offers an important tool they can use to talk to their Councillors. If Toronto is to become a greener city for all, it will happen because we, together, make it clear to our elected officials that this is the direction we want them to take. That is why we encourage you to contact your Councillor and tell them you want action on the six environmental priorities outlined in this report.