I may have lost some of you. Toronto is not the centre of the universe, after all, and many municipal elections were held on Monday. So, a brief primer on Rob Ford if you've never heard of him before: you can think of him as Canada's Sarah Palin, only way more controversial, and interested in replacing light rail with subways, streetcars with buses, bikes with cars, and city councillors with... nobody... all the while claiming to respect taxpayers. Because apparently that's all we are. People who give him money to play with.
|Toronto City Hall copyright Benson Kua (2008)|
Back to being optimistic! Part of the reason I am feeling much more hopeful today is because the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has gotten the ball rolling by pointing out that a majority of the elected city councillors got A grades on their environmental report cards and are committed to key environmental priority actions. So until Mr. Ford gets around to kicking those councillors off the island (though city hall resembles more of a futuristic building from Star Trek than an island), they will oppose his radical plans.
But wait, there's more! I'm not usually one to endorse letter writing, but it's such a simple action that anyone can take that there is no reason not to give it a shot: TEA wants us to send a strong message to the new council that we expect the new councillors to make the environment a priority over the next four years, and they've set up a form on their website that will make the process really easy. Simply choose the ward you live in, then electronically send their version of the letter, or write your own. TEA will deliver all letters in person before the first council meeting in December. How simple is that? (If you don't live here, please consider forwarding the link to this post to anyone you know who resides in this city. Thanks!)
Meanwhile, I will do my best to share with you other options for creating a healthier city and keep you updated on any major decisions the new council makes that affect the environment.