As part of our work to put environmental issues on the agenda in the 2018 municipal election, we’ve compiled some election basics and environment-focused questions you can ask your local candidates.
To state the obvious, this municipal election cycle has been very confusing. With Toronto’s wards being cut in half midway through the election, many people aren’t sure which ward they live in, let alone who’s running for election or where to vote.
During a municipal election, voters living in a specific ward elect one City Councillor to represent them at City Council and one school board trustee (either TDSB or TCDSB).
Switching from 44 wards to 47 wards was a minor adjustment but now we are living in a new 25 ward reality. This means that in many areas of Toronto where there used to be 2 wards, and therefore 2 elected Councillors and 2 school board trustees - there will only be 1 ward, 1 Councillor, and 1 Trustee.
Voting for a greener city starts with knowing who is running in your ward, who is running for Mayor and how and where you can vote.
Many common questions are:
- What is my new ward name and number?
- Am I eligible to vote?
- How do I vote?
- Where do I vote?
- Who is running for election in my area?
When you enter your address on the City of Toronto’s MyVote website, it will give you your new ward name and number, who is a registered candidate for Mayor, Councillor and Schoolboard Trustee.
For more easy-to-understand information about how to vote and what you need, check out this great article by the Toronto Star’s Jennifer Pagliaro: “Advance polls for Toronto’s election are open. Here’s what you need to know.”
Casting your ballot
Election Day is Monday, October 22, 2018.
You can vote at your local voting station between the hours of 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM. You can also vote in advance from Wednesday, October 10 to Sunday, October 14 at an advanced voting station in your area or at Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St W).
QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES: CLIMATE CHANGE, POLLUTION AND WASTE
Candidates running for election to be your local City Councillor or the Mayor of Toronto are hitting the streets every day to talk to people on doorsteps and at community events. They are ready and willing to answer any question you’ve got, so don’t be too shy to ask!
What many people do not realize is that Toronto’s municipal government makes a lot of critical decisions that affect your daily life. The City of Toronto provides many public services that you access in your homes and communities and they are also in charge of major development decisions, public spaces & centres, social services, public health, emergency services and so much more.
Our municipal government also makes a lot of environmental decisions like passing rules to reduce the use of pesticides, controlling air and water pollution, introducing zero waste services like Green Bins, investing in renewable energy and building retrofits, preserving green spaces and increasing access to low-carbon transportation like public transit, bike lanes and walkways.
As Toronto’s environmental watchdog, we work every day to ensure good environmental policies are passed at City Hall and that resident’s voices and concerns are heard. We’re working to ensure the environment is included in this election.
TEA developed a short-list of environmental questions you should ask candidates:
- Will you commit to fully funding Toronto’s climate change action plan, TransformTO?
- Do you agree that Toronto urgently needs a climate adaptation strategy to protect people and property from climate change impacts like flooding and heat waves?
- Do you agree that Toronto’s commercial and industrial businesses should pay their fair share of our city’s water pollution treatment costs?
- Will you support new city rules to reduce problematic single-use plastics that pollute our environment?
- Will you ensure that all Toronto residents, wherever they live, work or play, always have access to recycling and composting services so they can reduce waste and save money?
Additional questions from other organizations:
We’ve also compiled a few more questions for our allies around transportation, green space, housing and equity - all critical issue to building a greener city for all.
Commitment2Community - Prosperity Platform (website)
- Jobs Question: Will you seek community benefits agreements (e.g., commitments to local job creation) for new developments like the Woodbine Casino?
- Housing Question: What are your plans for improving the quality of affordable housing in our city?
- Transit Question: How and when will you make TTC fares affordable for everyone, especially low-income people?
Cycle Toronto Build The Grid Campaign (website)
- Will you support building protected bike lanes on main streets?
- Do you support accelerating the City’s 10-Year Cycling Network Plan to be completed in the next four years, instead of by 2026?
Park People Parks Platform 2018 (website)
- Will you commit to maintaining the 50/50 redistributive policy that directs half of park levies funds into a citywide account to fund parkland acquisition and improvement in areas of the city that do not see as much development? This is a critical equity policy.
- Will you approve a stormwater fee based on area of impervious surfaces and direct a portion of revenues towards the construction and maintenance of green infrastructure in parks and along streets?
- Will you direct green infrastructure to be included within new park development and redevelopment projects? With new parks developed or redeveloped each year, this is an easy way to increase the amount of green infrastructure across the city to help mitigate neighbourhood flooding.
Some other platforms and questions to check out:
- ProtectNatureTO (view the website)
- TCAT, 8-80 Cities, Cycle Toronto, Walk Toronto, Friends and Families for Safe Streets - Build The Vision TO Campaign (view the website.)
- TTCRiders (view the website)
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO VOTE FOR A GREENER CITY FOR ALL
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