Council Watch - June 2010

Making the Environment a Priority this Election, TEA Launches Good Neighbour Campaign in Scarborough, Toronto's Last Incinerator Shut Down!, Public Transit Coalition update.

Making the Environment a Priority this Election

Over the coming months, TEA will be working hard to ensure that the environment is a priority among the mayoral and council candidates. In February, TEA launched a Municipal Election campaign focusing on six environmental priorities and since then we've received the endorsement of nearly 40 organizations.  By adding your name to the list, we will be able to show candidates that we have many people who share our vision for the next council. 

Our election team is meeting with candidates, attending debates and events, and closely monitoring the candidate platforms. Watch out for report cards, candidate surveys, events and a mayoral debate! 

Coming soon: our mid-campaign Mayoral Candidates Environmental Report Card coming out at the end of June!

TEA Launches Good Neighbour Campaign in Scarborough

TEA launched a Good Neighbour Campaign in Scarborough this spring, in the neighbourhoods surrounding Atlantic Packaging facilities. The GNC is a powerful community mobilization model focused on positive relationships between industrial and residential neighbours to reduce pollution and its related environmental and health impacts. 
Heather Marshall, the GNC Coordinator, has been meeting with local residents to talk about pollution issues including odours, noise and white dust, and local actions the community can take.  The group has been working on a pollution tracking calendar, a community letter to the company, and an 'odour walk' through the neighbourhood. Atlantic Packaging has been responsive and is taking some first steps, but needs encouragement to keep going.

Toronto's Last Incinerator shut down! 

Last week at City Council, TEA helped pass a motion to stop incineration of Toronto’s sewage sludge at the Highland Creek Treatment Plant in Scarborough. This old incinerator was one of the largest polluting facilities in Toronto emitting over 38 tonnes of GHG emissions per day, not to mention toxins like heavy metals, hexachlorobenzene, and dioxins/furans. 

It was a very close vote with a little over half of Toronto’s Councillors voting to put the last City-owned incinerator to rest for good! Congratulations to all the Councillors who stood up for a safer, sustainable option for managing our sewage waste.  

Public Transit Coalition (PTC) Update
TEA is a proud founding member of the Public Transit Coalition (PTC). Thanks to the many TEA members, more than 12,000 transit riders and 36 local organizations signed the PTC’s pledge that states: the TTC must be kept public, be properly funded by all levels of Government, and that the Transit City Light Rail plan be completed by 2020. 

The PTC is disappointed that Metrolinx and the Provincial Government approved a “shorter and slower” Transit City plan. Their reduced plan, called the “5 in 10” plan by Metrolinx, means people in Toronto's inner suburbs are left waiting for better public transit. TEA and the PTC will continue to push for the full Transit City Light Rail plan to ensure the transit lines left out of the 5 in 10 plan are not forgotten.