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Toronto Environmental Alliance issues election priorities

February 11th, 2010
By Marcus Bowman



The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has published a list of key policy priorities it hopes Toronto’s mayoral candidates will endorse. Noting that Rocco Rossi’s denouncement of Transit City and bike lanes on arterials has been the only discussion on environmental issues to date, TEA executive director, Dr Franz Hartmann called on candidates to put a focus on the environment.

The group listed six priorities as essential to continuing the push towards a cleaner and healthier city. Those priorities are:

  1. Build Transit City and fund it
  2. Achieve 70% waste diversion by 2012
  3. Buy and support locally produced green products
  4. Build transportation infrastructure everyone can use
  5. Implement the city’s sustainable energy strategy
  6. Provide tool to prevent pollution


The emphasis of the priorities is to build on past initiatives and to ensure continuity of what the group calls “ten years of environmental success”. Beyond the importance of these priorities to personal and communal well-being, TEA contends that the issues are also essential to continuing Toronto’s leadership role on the environment. The city’s pesticide bylaw, which helped lead to the province wide ban, and its pollution disclosure bylaws regarding the presence of toxic substances, were cited as examples of progressive action now being studied elsewhere. “Because Toronto is the biggest city in Canada, what happens here has a big impact on the rest of the county” said Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director of the Candian Environmental Law Association. “That’s why so many prominent environmental groups endorsed these priorities. We want to send a clear signal to all Mayoralty candidates that these priorities matter and that the next Mayor must adopt them.”

In terms of more concrete actions, the group urged mayoral candidates to continuing working with upper levels of government on transit spending and implement the Green Bin program in apartment buildings. They also encouraged giving purchasing priority to locally produced green products and creating tools for small businesses to create pollution prevention plans.

The release of these priorities represented a first for Toronto’s municipal politics. Taken together, the coalition of groups that helped shape these six priorities is a formative and diverse group of experts and leaders from a wide range of environmental concerns. In total, 11 prominent groups stood behind the priorities including:Canadian Association of Physicians for the
, Canadian Environmental Law
, Canadian Institute for
Environmental Law and Policy
, Environmental
, Evergreen, Greenpeace Canada, The Pembina Institute, Toronto Coalition for Active
, The Toronto Cyclists Union
and the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative

Environmental Defence Executive Director, Rick Smith stated “I’m sure mayoral candidates will have lots of issues to disagree about…but we hope every one of them will agree it’ nes important to build on Toronto’s environmental successes by implementing these priorities.”

Toronto’s environmental leaders have spoken, will mayoral candidates listen?

Photo by Miles Storey

As published here: http://spacing.ca/wire/2010/02/11/toronto-environmental-alliance-issues-election-priorities/

Toronto Environmental Alliance issues election priorities Feb 11 2010 SPACING.pdf159.55 KB