October 10, 2006
For Immediate Release
City's Smog Actions Inadequate
(Toronto) Today, the City of Toronto scored a "C-" on the Toronto Environmental Alliance's ninth annual Smog Report Card. The Report Card measures the City of Toronto's progress in implementing the 1998 smog plan and subsequent promises on air quality issues.
"2006 was one of the best on record," said TEA Executive Director, Dr. Robert Fugere, "but largely due to regular rains and citizens' conservation efforts. The City government has merely kept plugging along, with excellence in a few areas but less than acceptable in many."
TEA reviewed Toronto's performance on smog in 6 key areas. The City received high marks for greening its fleet of vehicles and pressing other levels of government for air quality action. However, the City has fallen behind in implementing a wide range of programs including: energy efficiency improvements, getting its own energy from green sources like wind and solar power, better public transit, and making Toronto more bike- and pedestrian-friendly. The City has also been slow to fulfill a longstanding commitment to develop a comprehensive Air Quality Strategy.
"We found that a clear Vision and a strong Leadership to improve air quality is missing," said TEA Board Chair Michael Shapcott. "We call on the City to reinvigorate its commitment to clean air starting with the new Council debating Toronto's deteriorating air."
The Report Card also encourages Toronto citizens to bring their environmental concerns forcefully into the election debates. Toronto City Council needs to once again be a leader in preventing dangerous climate change.
Contact: Bob Fugere (416) 596-0660
Copies of the Toronto Smog Report Card 2006 will be available at the press conference and here.