I am happy to report some important City-wide and local successes from the last week or so. At City Council, two environmental goals I have been working on for quite some time were met: Council voted to phase out the incineration of sewage sludge at the highland creek incinerator. We also voted to stop treating sewer discharges to Lake Ontario with chlorine, and to use UV light to kill bacteria instead. Both of these victories came despite Mayor Ford’s opposition.
Also, Council significantly slowed the Mayor’s push to privatize curb-side recycling and garbage collection in the western part of the City (including Ward 14). While the mayor had originally planned to decide last week to privatize garbage we forced the issue to come back to Council with an independent review of the costs and benefits, and added several conditions including guarantees for high levels of recycling. These articles give a fuller picture of what happened:
In addition, the Mayor’s plan to eliminate Citizen Advisory Committees will go through a further review despite his plan to eliminate them outright.
In local news, the Roncesvalles reconstruction work is still on schedule for completion this summer. Thanks to the many volunteers who came out last weekend to plant trees on the western side of Roncesvalles. Thanks also to the many of you who have told me how much you like the look of the new streetscape.
Another piece of good news is we now have a commitment from City staff that the new pedestrian crossing to the lakeshore at Dowling will be completed this fall. It’s taken a long time but, public access to the waterfront is improving.
All in all we are finding that green progressive community values can still flourish in Toronto if we all work hard. To that end I want to remind you that the Mayor’s plan to cut City services through his Core Service Review is coming fast. I will be hosting a joint community meeting with Councillors Doucette (Ward 13) and Bailao (Ward 18). Here are the details: Tri ward flyer
We all need to speak up now to protect the services we depend on to keep Toronto strong and healthy.