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Ford, Rossi turn down green questionnaire - Toronto Star

13 October 2010
Paul Moloney
Urban Affairs Reporter

The contrast couldn’t be clearer.

Mayoral candidates Rob Ford and Rocco Rossi received an F for refusing to answer questions on environmental issues.

Joe Pantalone and George Smitherman each got A+ scores after they answered the 20-question, yes or no survey posed by the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

Based on their answers, Pantalone posted a perfect 100 per cent score, while Smitherman’s mark was 90 per cent.

“We made repeated attempts to get Mr. Ford and Mr. Rossi to complete the survey. They did not respond,” Franz Hartmann, the environmental alliance’s executive director, told reporters Wednesday.

“I did speak to senior people in both of their campaigns and it did not lead to them filling out the questionnaire.”

The pair may feel right wing voters they’re going after don’t care about the environment, but that would be a miscalculation, Hartmann said.

“I think there are a lot of voters who would not consider themselves left or right or centrist who do care about the environment and probably have considered voting for Mr. Rossi and Mr. Ford.

“Given that the most recent polls have shown Mr. Ford as a potential front runner, we find this exceptionally bizarre that he chose not to use the report card to talk to Torontonians about an issue they care about,” he said.

Hartmann added that an earlier survey of candidates for the 44 council seats showed that whoever is mayor will be dealing with a “green” council.

There was widespread support from council hopefuls on six priorities: building and funding the Transit City light-rapid transit plan; achieving the goal of diverting 70 per cent of waste from landfill; encouraging the purchase of green products; implementing a “complete streets” transportation policy; a sustainable energy strategy; and providing tools to prevent pollution.

“It’s likely based on those results that we could have a majority of council that supports the six priorities,” Hartmann said. “Regardless of who wins the mayoralty, that person will likely be dealing with a green council. Either that mayor gets on board with the green council or he’s going to be left behind.”

Smitherman lost marks for refusing to rule out incineration as an option for garbage disposal, refusing to fully implement the city’s bike plan and excluding LRT lines on Jane St. and Don Mills Rd,. from his transit plan.

As originally published here: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/874601--ford-rossi-turn-down-green-questionnaire

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