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Mayoral candidates get green report card - CBC

Pantalone comes out on top; Ford at the bottom

July 8, 2010
CBC.ca News

A so-called report card released by an environmental group says Toronto's top mayoral candidates have lots of room for improvement when it comes to key environmental issues.

The Toronto Environmental Alliance said Thursday many environmental issues have taken a backseat so far in the campaign.

The alliance examined the positions taken by the five frontrunners — Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman and Sarah Thompson — on what it says are six priority environmental positions.

According to the rankings, Pantalone appears to have the upper hand, while Ford is described as having the poorest record.

"Candidates are not really coming to terms with how passionate Torontonians are about environmental issues, and about these six priority issues, and also how beneficial they will be to the city," said Franz Hartmann, the executive director of the alliance on Thursday. "

A lot of the discussion right now is 'Oh, we have to cut back,' or 'We have to do this and that or we can't do this and that.'"

The priority issues outlined in the report card are:

  • Building and funding Transit City.
  • Ensuring a 70 per cent waste diversion target.
  • Buying local green products
  • Having a plan for "complete streets," in which pedestrians, cyclists and drivers can all share the road.
  • Having a sustainable energy strategy.
  • Provide tools to prevent pollution.

The report card did not provide letter grades, but ranked the candidates into one of four categories — going in the right direction; unclear - needs improvement; unsatisfactory performance, and has not commented on this issue.

One more report card coming

The report card also summarizes the Alliance's assessment of each candidate on the issues:

  • Ford: "Shows little interest"
  • Pantalone: "Progressing steadily; needs to speak up"
  • Rossi: "Shows lack of understanding"
  • Smitherman: "Shows potential but needs to apply himself"
  • Thompson: "Eager participant; misses key lessons"

Polls have shown that Smitherman and Ford are the two frontrunners, although many voters appear to be undecided.

"What we're looking for is platforms or announcements or at minimum more discussion by the candidates on these six priority issues," said Hartmann. "We don't expect candidates to hold press conferences on each one of these actions. We do however expect them to acknowledge these are important priority actions."

The candidates will be given another chance to improve their standing, the alliance said, in another report card that will feature letter grades to be released ahead of the Oct. 25 municipal election.

As published here: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/07/08/mayoral-candidates-rep...