Toronto the Green: Councillors get top grades, City gets a B+, but key programs delayed

For Immediate Release                                

March 23, 2009

Toronto the Green: 
Councillors get top grades, City gets a B+, but key programs delayed


Toronto: Today, the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) issued a mid term Environmental Report Card that evaluates City Councillors’ votes on key environmental policies and city actions on smog and climate change.

“We looked at 8 key Council votes on environmental issues over the past two years,” said Katrina Miller, Campaigns Director with TEA. “This is the greenest Council this city has ever seen. For the first time, we are awarding a majority of Councillors with “A” grades.”

TEA also awarded the city with a B+ for its efforts to reduce smog and curb climate change, matching its best ever performance in 2004. The Mayor’s Tower Renewal initiative, Transit City implementation, the Community Right to Know Bylaw, a local food procurement policy and Live Green Toronto were highlighted achievements that led to the grade.

However, all the news is not good. “Unfortunately, the city bureaucracy has been unable to realize City Council’s commitment to buy and build renewable energy and create green jobs,” said Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of TEA. Specifically there is no action plan to achieve Council’s commitment to purchase 25% of the City energy from green sources. Toronto’s Green Economic Development Strategy is also stagnant, along with any consideration of a Green Manufacturing Action Plan.

To explain the growing gap between Council’s environmental commitment and the lack of action in key areas, the report points to the Civil Service’s inability to deliver policies in a timely fashion.

“The city bureaucracy is not designed to deliver the actions we need at the speed at which we need them,” said Miller. “There is insufficient coordination and collaboration between departments. We’re asking the City Manager to take charge of the Green Energy and Green Jobs files to engender better synergy between these key programs.”

The report also summarizes best practices used by other municipal bureaucracies and recommends that the City Manager report to the Executive Committee in the fall on ways to improve coordination and accountability at City Hall.


For more information, contact:
Katrina Miller, Campaigns Director, Cell: 647-272-5024.
Franz Hartmann, Executive Director, Cell: 416-606-8881.

The Report Card is available here and as a pdf here