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Green votes with red tape

Report card cites most councillors for environmental records but criticizes their turtle-like pace


24th March 2009, 3:54am

Most councillors should be tickled green with their mid-term report card from one of the city's largest environmental lobby groups, but the Toronto Environmental Alliance warns City Hall bureaucracy is choking council's green agenda.

According to TEA's mid-term report card, released yesterday, councillors have been performing, or at least voting well, with 24 of them receiving A's or better.

But citing what the non-profit group calls a "fly in the ointment," City Hall bureaucracy seems less than enthusiastic about council's green plans.

The 5,000-member organization's report cites several projects that have been delayed:

  • Toronto's sustainable energy plan has been held back for more than a year.
  • A plan to get 25% of Toronto's electricity from green energy has been delayed by two years.
  • A report on the city's green job development strategy was expected in late 2007 but is still missing.
  • The city is likely to miss its 2009 deadline to replace two-stroke city equipment, like lawn mowers and leaf blowers, and the 2010 start date to ban two-stroke motors for the public.

"We fear there is a growing gap between council's environmental commitment and the civil service's ability to get it done," reads the report, which blames a lack of co-ordination between city departments as one reason projects get delayed.

"We can no longer accept delays that traditionally plague many city environmental initiatives," it continued.

"If we want to be, as Mayor (David) Miller promises, the greenest city in North America, we need a new standard for getting work done."

But Miller said the group's criticisms of civic red tape are "misguided," and although some projects have been delayed the city is acting decisively to combat climate change, noting the city's large hybrid bus fleet, Transit City, and the subway line to York University as examples.

Of the city's 45 councillors, 20 received an A plus, and four received A's. There were five B's, four C pluses, one C, three D's, two D minuses, and six F's.

Councillor Frank Di Giorgio, who received an A plus this time but an F in TEA's 2006 report card was recognized as the "most improved."

Councillor Case Ootes, who received an F, was also highlighted by TEA for having his "head in the sand."

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, who received a C plus, was criticized by TEA for missing five of the eight key votes included in the grading. "Councillor Mammoliti votes green ... when he's there," the report reads.



The Toronto Environmental Alliance graded city councillors on their "green" performance in the first half of their current term on council. The grading is based on eight key votes -- achieving 70% waste diversion; the city's climate change, clean air action plan; land transfer and personal vehicle registration taxes; a new zoning bylaw to allow for generation and distribution of renewable energy; taking down the Gardiner; the mayor's tower renewal; the community right-to-know bylaw; and a packaging bylaw that includes the 5 cents fee for plastic bags.

Here's how the city councillors did:

  • - David Miller -- A+
  • - Sandra Bussin -- A+
  • - Shelley Carroll -- A+
  • - Raymond Cho -- A+
  • - Janet Davis -- A+
  • - Glenn De Baeremaeker -- A+
  • - Frank Di Giorgio -- A+
  • - John Filion -- A+
  • - Paula Fletcher -- A+
  • - Adam Giambrone -- A+
  • - Mark Grimes -- A+
  • - Adrian Heaps -- A+
  • - Norm Kelly -- A+
  • - Pam McConnell -- A+
  • - Joe Mihevc -- A+
  • - Howard Moscoe -- A+
  • - Joe Pantalone -- A+
  • - Gord Perks -- A+
  • - Kyle Rae -- A+
  • - Adam Vaughan -- A+
  • - Brian Ashton -- A
  • - Maria Augimeri -- A
  • - Suzan Hall -- A
  • - Ron Moeser -- A
  • - Chin Lee -- B
  • - Gloria Lindsay-Luby -- B
  • - Peter Milczyn -- B
  • - Anthony Peruzza -- B
  • - Bill Saundercook -- B
  • - Paul Ainslie -- C+
  • - Mike Del Grande -- C+
  • - Giorgio Mammoliti -- C+
  • - Cesar Palacio -- C+
  • - Michael Walker -- C
  • - Michael Feldman -- D
  • - Karen Stintz -- D
  • - Michael Thompson -- D
  • - Cliff Jenkins -- D--
  • - Frances Nunziata -- D--
  • - Rob Ford -- F
  • - Doug Holyday -- F
  • - Denzil Minnan-Wong -- F
  • - Case Ootes -- F
  • - John Parker -- F
  • - David Shiner -- F

As published at: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/03/24/8861396-sun.html

Green Votes with Red Tape March 24 2009.pdf68.76 KB