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Mayoral candidates not very green: Pantalone leads bunch on environmental issues - Toronto Sun

July 8, 2010

Jonathan Jenkins
Queen's Park Bureau
Toronto Sun

Joe Pantalone is the head of a disappointing class of mayoral candidates, as far as the Toronto Environmental Alliance is concerned.

“If the candidates were students, we’d be telling them to spend the summer studying if they want to get good grades,” Franz Hartmann, TEA’s executive director, said Thursday.

“Too many of them haven’t done their environmental homework,” he said.

Hartmann made the comment as the alliance issued a mid-campaign report card on the five most prominent candidates. The report sums up their performance on six key issues TEA would like to see get discussed in the run up to the Oct. 25 vote.

They include building and funding the Transit City light rail lines, hitting the city’s 70% waste diversion target by 2012, buying locally, building transportation infrastructure “everyone can use,” implement the sustainable energy strategy and prevent pollution.

Pantalone got four Smiley Face marks and two “needs improvement” in the six categories. Smitherman managed one Smiley Face, while Sarah Thomson and Rocco Rossi didn’t get any.

Rob Ford received four unhappy faces and two question marks for having never commented on issues.

“Candidate Ford has some way to go,” Hartmann said. “He has not been paying attention to these six priorities very well and when he does talk about them, it looks like he hasn’t been doing his homework.”

Ford “confuses streetcars with LRTs” and along with Thompson and Rossi, got low marks for pushing subways, which Hartmann said are too costly and time-consuming to build and only work in areas of very high density.

Hartmann said while it’s true few of TEA’s key issues, with the exception of transit, have been getting much attention so far in the campaign, he maintained Torontonians do care about the environment and want a mayor that cares about it, too.

The alliance plans on issuing a final report with letter grades for the candidates in early October.

As published here: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/07/08/14650506.html