Council Watch - Green Schemes for 2015

In this issue of Council Watch, TEA would like to wish you a very Happy New Year and tell you what's in store for 2015.

A peek behind the curtain

A letter from Franz Hartmann, TEA Executive Director

Happy New Year!
As we enter a year full of promise and peril, here is a “peek behind the curtain” to show you some of the “invisible work” we do and how it has an impact. We'll also let you know what you can expect from TEA in 2015.

Last Tuesday, my first stop was City Hall, where Council’s new Public Works and Infrastructure (PWIC) Committee was meeting for the first time. PWIC is important because it deals with waste management, transportation, water, and sewage. This was an opportunity for TEA to connect with the people whose decisions have a big impact on our natural environment.

Shortly after 9:30, the new Committee Chair, Councillor Jaye Robinson read through the short agenda and then unexpectedly introduced a new item: privatizing garbage collection east of Yonge Street. Her recommendations asked staff to report back in April with studies on whether privatizing will actually lead to cost savings and better service.

What was missing? There was no study of how waste diversion could be affected. So, TEA sprang into action. Three hours later, we had convinced the Mayor’s Office and a majority of Councillors to also ask for a study on waste diversion. Without TEA, the discussion about privatizing waste collection would not consider the environment.

Which gets me to what we will be doing in 2015:

TEA will be at City Hall pushing Councillors to consider the environment when making important decisions
We’ll push the new Mayor and Council to implement our Green Action Agenda. Help us make this happen by sending a letter Mayor Tory
TEA will be launching a brand new website that will be more engaging for our members
We’ll be talking to Torontonians across the city about joining us to build a greener city for all.
With your support, 2015 could be a transformative year where we finally get real action on the environment. Stay tuned.

Franz Hartmann
Executive Director