For Immediate Release
December 16, 2016
Toronto: In a shocking late night vote, Mayor Tory voted against a motion to ask the City’s Budget Committee to find funds in 2017 to help meet Toronto’s climate change targets.
“Every Torontonian concerned with climate change should be profoundly disappointed by Mayor Tory’s vote,” said Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), Toronto’s environmental watchdog. “While he voted for a new climate change plan, he voted against opening the door to finding money to pay for the plan.”
Late yesterday evening Council adopted a new plan for reducing emissions by 2020. It noted the city requires roughly $23 million to move forward with a host of important climate change actions in the plan, such as retrofitting buildings. The report also noted that action could start in 2017 with a small investment of $1.6 million. A motion by Councillor Layton asked the Budget Committee to consider finding funds for the plan as part of the 2017 budget process. While the motion was supported by a majority of Council, the Mayor voted against it.
“The Mayor was in Paris last year with other world leaders telling the world Toronto would do its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Hartmann. “Yet when the time came to act, he voted to do nothing. This is very disappointing.”
This is a worrying trend by the Mayor, noted Hartmann. “Last week, the Mayor and Budget Chief presented a budget that had no room for any new spending, including climate change action. On Tuesday, the Mayor said no to a variety of new funding sources –vehicle registration tax, sales tax, parking levy, income tax, graduated property tax- that are necessary to fund climate change actions.”
Said Hartmann “On the climate change front, it’s difficult to see a noticeable difference between Mayor Ford’s inaction and Mayor Tory’s inaction.”
For more information contact: Franz Hartmann, 416-606-8881