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Environmental advocate chastises council's record - Toronto Sun

May 17, 2012
Don Peat
Toronto Sun

TORONTO - The Toronto Environmental Alliance blasted city council Thursday for “going in circles” on environmental issues.

“Unfortunately we see council going in circles more than any other direction,” said Jamie Kirkpatrick, a campaigner with the alliance.

“It is now time for this new council to start doing the work that Torontonians elected them to do on these issues.”

The group accused councillors of “going in circles” when it comes to four priorities including building and funding Transit City, achieving 70% waste diversion, buying and supporting locally-produced green products and implementing the city’s sustainable energy strategy. TEA said council is going “in the wrong direction” on building transportation infrastructure everyone can use like bike lanes.

Kirkpatrick said council’s support for a separated bike lane network in the downtown didn’t excuse the vote to remove the Jarvis bike lanes and bike lanes on two streets in Scarborough.

“I can’t give it credit until we actually see results,” he said. “We did have a (bike) plan, we’d be much further along if we stuck to that plan.”

Kirkpatrick denied some of the initiatives would be unaffordable for the city.

“It is more affordable to take these actions than to do nothing,” he said.

Public Works chairman Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong dismissed TEA’s report card and the claim council was spinning its wheels.

“We’ve been pretty busy,” Minnan-Wong said.

He pointed out Mayor Rob Ford’s administration has conducted a core service review, negotiated labour contracts and contracting out garbage collection.

Minnan-Wong bristled at criticism of council’s bike lane efforts.

“We’re creating the first separated bike lanes in the city and we’re spending more money in the next five years building bike lanes than the last administration spent in four,” he said. “I’d say the city is doing pretty well on the bike lane file.”

As originally published here:

2012-05-17 Environmental advocate chastise councils record _Toronto Sun_.pdf45.79 KB