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CouncilWatch - July 23 2008

In this edition:

  1. TEA Launches New Website with Take Action Focus!
  2. Urge your Councillor to support local and sustainable food!
  3. Community Right to Know VICTORY at Board of Health

1. TEA Launches New Website with Take Action Focus!

We decided to celebrate our 20th Birthday (that’s right, we turned 20 this year!) by giving Torontonians an even better way to Act Locally to build a green Toronto. For the past few months TEA has worked diligently to create a new, sustainable website, which has now gone live!

Visit and bookmark www.torontoenvironment.org.

The website will be updated frequently with news releases, reports and, most importantly, actions you can take to help us act locally to build a green Toronto.

Take some time to look through the website and be sure to visit the following:

  1. The Home Page which will be updated often with video updates about our campaigns
  2. The Take Action section to learn about what you can do to help us act locally
  3. The Campaigns section to determine the status of our campaigns, read news releases and reports
  4. Subscriptions to sign up for some of our other e-bulletins

2. Urge your Councillor to support local and sustainable food!

On September 17th the Government Management committee will have the chance to approve a policy that directs city agencies to buy more local and sustainable food. Back in May this committee had the same opportunity but they delayed what should be a “no-brainer” decision.

Local food is fresher, tastier and helps to reduce greenhouse gas and smog emissions because it’s grown by our neighbours in the Greenbelt and surrounding areas. Buying local food helps everyone and harms no one.

Please contact your Councillor and members of the Government Management Committee and urge them to support the local and sustainable food procurement policy!

3. Community Right to Know VICTORY at Board of Health

At the July 3rd Board of Health meeting, the Medical Officer of Health tabled the proposed Community Right to Know (CRTK) bylaw and implementation plan. The bylaw addresses exactly what the community has been asking for. The disclosure program would collect data from all sizes and types of businesses. This helps them to consider ways to reduce their use and release of the priority substances, and empowers the community with easily accessible information about local environmental conditions.

For the full report please go to: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2008/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-13981.pdf

Further, the Board unanimously approved to amend their recommendations and include TEA’s proposed changes which included that the bylaw be considered and voted on by City Council in October:

Recommendation 2 iv. "Ensure that the Environmental Reporting and Disclosure Bylaw and all supporting information is ready for discussion at City Council by October 2008."

For the full account of recommendations go to: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2008/hl/decisions/2008-07-03-hl16-dd.pdf

We look forward to your support and action in the fall to ensure this bylaw is passed. The Community Right to Know bylaw will set a precedent in Canada for disclosing toxic chemical releases at a local level.