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Ford urged to turn green - Toronto Sun

Jonathan Jenkins
City Hall Bureau
Toronto Sun

There’s no room in mayor-elect Rob Ford’s Toronto for an overseas environmental office.

“No, we won’t be funding that,” Ford told AM 640’s John Oakley, in only his second day since winning the election handily over George Smitherman.

In 2009, the city set aside $140,000 over two years to help fund the climate secretariat in London, England, which had been established by then mayor Boris Johnston to work on climate change.

Toronto kicked in the cash because Mayor David Miller was named chair of the C40 group of cities working to combat climate change, Miller spokesman Stuart Green said in an e-mail.

Ford’s commitment not fund [sic] the office any longer is meaningless, Green said, as the funding commitment was to expire with Miller’s term with the C40 on Nov. 1. He will be succeeded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City.

Ford made no other commitments during his appearance on the Oakley show, where he announced his campaign for mayor on March 25.

The five cent plastic bag tax brought in under Miller also came up during the show. Ford said he hadn’t promised to scrap it during the campaign but would if council voted in favour of it.

He said his preference would be for the money to be diverted to environmental causes as opposed to going straight to the merchants, as it does now.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Environmental Alliance said Wednesday 24 of Ford’s colleagues on the new city council support the kind of green initiatives the mayor-to-be was so sceptical of as a councillor.

The alliance sent out surveys to council candidates with 20 questions. The 24 “green” councillors answered yes to at least 16 of those questions, TEA executive director Franz Hartmann said.

“The party is over for Mr. Ford’s anti-environment sound bites,” Hartmann said in a press release.

“The citizens have spoken and they want (mayor-elect) Ford to respect their wishes and work with the new council to build on 10 years of environmental success,” Hartmann said.

As originally published here: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/10/27/15854066.html

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