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A mid-campaign green grade - Globe and Mail

Kelly Grant

July 8, 2010

The Toronto Environmental Alliance’s mid-campaign report card is out and -- no surprise here -- Joe Pantalone fared best, Rob Ford worst.

TEA picked six priorities on which to judge the major mayoral candidates’ platforms and performance so far: Building and funding Transit City; diverting trash; buying local green products; supporting “complete streets”; backing sustainable energy; and providing tools to prevent pollution.

Rather than bestow letter or number grades, TEA awarded the candidates smiley or sad faces for each category. The upshot? Deputy Mayor Pantalone is “progressing steadily; needs to speak up,” according to TEA, while Mr. Ford “shows little interest.”

“I think Candidate Ford has some way to go,” said Franz Hartmann, the executive director of TEA, which partnered with 11 other green organizations to develop the priorities. “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.”

Here is how TEA summarized the other candidates’ performances:

  • George Smitherman: “Shows potential but needs to apply himself.”
  • Sarah Thomson: “Eager participant, misses key lessons.”
  • Rocco Rossi: “Shows lack of understanding.”

Other than public transit, TEA’s priorities have barely registered in the race so far. That’s reflected in the report card. It’s peppered with question-mark smiley faces to indicate, for example, that four of the five candidates haven’t made a peep on buying local green products or providing tools to prevent pollution.

Mr. Hartmann is hoping the candidates will start paying more attention to the environment before October, when TEA awards the mayoral hopefuls their final grades. “We would love nothing more than to have Torontonians to choose from five candidates who all get on an A on our environmental report card.”

As published here: