Home > Reportcard08 > 6. Recommendations

6. Recommendations

The City needs to step up action on key components of the Change is in the Air smog and climate change plan. Most importantly, the Sustainable Energy Plan needs to be paired with the Green Economic Development Strategy to develop synergy between Toronto’s renewable energy and green job goals. Imagine Toronto installing windmills and solar panels built inside our own city boundaries.

Both of these plans have undergone serious delay and suffer from Toronto’s siloed bureaucracy. We recommend that: 

Oversight of the Sustainable Energy Plan be moved to the City Manager’s Office, with a designated staff person who coordinates between various departments to ensure synergy between this plan and other plans, such as the Green Economic Development Strategy.

The General Manager of Economic Development review and report on how to restart the Green Economic Development Strategy and the Green Manufacturing Action Team, as well as how economic development can complement current and future environmental activities happening in other departments.

The City Manager report to the Executive Committee by Fall 2009 on how the city can maximize green job creation from the implementation of the Sustainable Energy Plan. 

The current structure for implementation of Toronto’s environmental agenda is flawed. It lacks interdepartmental coordination and commitment. Therefore, we further recommend that:

The City Manager review how interdepartmental environmental initiatives are handled and report to the Executive Committee no later than Fall 2009 on opportunities to improve interdepartmental coordination and commitment.

Public transparency and accountability helps drive action and evaluate success. We repeat our recommendation from our last Smog Report Card to:  

Publish an annual “State of Toronto’s Air” report. This report should provide Torontonians with a summary of actions taken by the City on reducing smog over the past twelve months including: 

  • • status of City targets related to smog reduction;
  • • how air quality has been affected by these actions;
  • • money invested in improving air quality  

We also recommend that:

The City Manager present the Executive Committee with options for auditing Toronto’s progress on environmental initiatives by the end of 2009. 

City Hall has come far in its commitment to greening our city and help the planet. Toronto is a leader in diverting waste, transit, increasing energy efficiency and reducing toxic chemicals.

To remain leaders, City Hall’s politicians and bureaucrats must constantly look for ways to improve what they do and how they do it. Political commitment to environmental issues is at an all time high in Toronto, backed by a groundswell of public support for the City to take action. The bureaucratic arm presently lacks the ability to keep pace both with the politicians and the public.

Toronto's new City Manager has a great opportunity to put things right. A few simple improvements could make a big difference.