Home > Voteto > 2010 Municipal Election Priorities > Mid-Campaign Mayoral Candidate Report Card > Expanded Comments on Candidates

Expanded Comments on Candidates

  1. Rob Ford
  2. Joe Pantalone
  3. Rocco Rossi
  4. George Smitherman
  5. Sarah Thomson 

1. Rob Ford – Shows Little Interest  

Rob has shown no interest in the environmental priorities. On the rare occasion when he does talk about the environment, it’s clear that he needs to spend more time studying the issues. For example, he confuses streetcars with LRTs and wants subways even where there isn’t enough density to support them. To earn a passing grade, Rob must put some time into understanding that there is more to being Mayor than complaining about Councillors’ expenses or talking about football.

On the 6 Environmental Priorities:

1. Build Transit City and Fund It:
Ford does not support building Transit City and instead wants to build costly subways, even where the density is not sufficient to support them. He confuses streetcars with LRTs, stating that he dislikes streetcars, and does not show any planning documents to support sufficient expansion throughout the GTA. Ford's position ignores the need to provide fast and accessible transit to all of Toronto now, instead favouring a more restricted and long term growth strategy. He therefore fails to support delivering public transit to all of Toronto, especially those in Toronto's priority neighbourhoods. 

2. Achieve 70% Waste Diversion by 2012:
Ford has no mention of achieving the 70% diversion target, and instead states that he would privatize garbage collection in the downtown core. Privatization can in fact reduce standards of recycling and composting, which could prevent the city from achieving its 70% waste diversion target. He also has no mention of implementing a blue or green bin strategy in high-rises, further reducing the chance of properly implementing a waste diversion strategy. 

3. Buy and Support Locally-Produced Green Products:
No mention 

4. Build Transportation Infrastructure Everyone Can Use:
Ford does not support any Complete Streets policy, (e.g. designing a transit system for cyclists, pedestrians, and cars) nor the addition of bike lanes outside of the downtown core. Ford also does not want to lose lanes of traffic in favour of building bike lanes. Ford believes that residents in the suburbs do not want bike lanes, and thinks it would lead to bike lanes to nowhere. 

5. Implement the City's Sustainable Energy Strategy:
Ford's reluctance to support Green Roofs and Tower Renewal as mandatory policy indicates his lack of understanding concerning any Sustainable Energy Strategies.

6. Provide Tools to Prevent Pollution:
No mention 

Sources Consulted:

  • Campaign Website: robfordformayor.ca
  • CP24 article here
  • Mary Ward SS - Scarborough Debate March 29, 2010
  • Green Living Debate April 23, 2010
  • Toronto Real Estate Board Debate May 5, 2010
  • Bloor West Village Debate May 5, 2010
  • Annex Debate June 15, 2010

 

Joe Pantalone – Progressing Steadily; Needs to Speak Up 

Joe is doing well. His knowledge of the environmental priorities is impressive: he understands the importance of public transit and building Transit City, sustainable energy, complete streets and Toronto Hydro’s role in greening the city. However, he can improve his grade by supporting these priorities in an official platform. He is distracted by what others say and needs to focus to get his points across. For Joe to excel he must learn to speak more about the priorities. 

On the 6 Environmental Priorities:

1. Build Transit City and Fund it:
Pantalone has fully endorsed the Transit City plan. As a result, his plan would allow for transit to be built more quickly than other candidates, and also reach communities throughout the city who need transit the most. Pantalone has also acknowledged the fact that Toronto does not currently possess the density levels necessary for subway lines in many communities, making LRTs a great alternative.

2. Achieve 70% Waste Diversion by 2012:
Pantalone has committed to achieving 70% waste diversion target in the next city council. Part of his plan to achieve this will involve introducing the green-bin program to multi-residential buildings. He would like to see Toronto become a world leader on waste diversion, if elected. 

3. Buy and Support Locally-Produced Green Products:
Pantalone has made a commitment to buy and support locally-produced green products. Based on a great deal of his environmental work in the past, Pantalone can definitely use this experience to help him achieve this priority. To achieve a better grade, Pantalone must incorporate this priority into his campaign more effectively.

4. Build Transportation Infrastructure Everyone Can Use:
Pantalone fully supports implementing a Complete Streets Policy in the city, and completing the Toronto Bike Plan. He has included this stance as one of the cornerstones of his platform. In doing so, he has demonstrated that he understands the importance of having an integrated transportation solution that meet the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.

5. Implement the City's Sustainable Energy Strategy:
Pantalone is definitely on the right-track with his plan to implement the City's Sustainable Energy Strategy. As a part of this initiative, he has pledged to keep Toronto Hydro as a public asset. By doing so, he plans on using Toronto Hydro to help with renewable energy installation and retrofits for the City.

6. Provide Tools to Prevent Pollution:
Pantalone has stated that he supports this priority and will work with small businesses to achieve it. He has said he understands the importance of reducing pollution in our city, but this needs to come across in his platform. In order to improve his grade, he needs to discuss this priority and come up with a platform that addresses this issue.

Sources Consulted:

  • Campaign Website: mayorjoe.ca
  • BlogTO article here 
  • Torontoist article here 
  • Inside Toronto article here 
  • National Post article here
  • Mary Ward SS - Scarborough Debate March 29, 2010
  • Green Living Show Debate April 23, 2010
  • Toronto Real Estate Board Debate May 5, 2010
  • Bloor West Village Debate May 5, 2010
  • TEA Meeting with Candidate May 7, 2010
  • Annex Debate June 15, 2010

 

Rocco Rossi – Shows Lack of Understanding 

Rocco is unsure about the priorities. While he talks about them, his plans suggests he doesn’t understand them. His focus on subways shows he doesn’t get the environmental importance of the Transit City Plan that will bring transit to all parts of Toronto. He also doesn’t seem to realize that selling Toronto Hydro could jeopardize the City’s Sustainable Energy Strategy. Rocco needs to spend the summer studying the priorities if he hopes to do well.

On the 6 Environmental Priorities:

1. Build Transit City and Fund it:
Rossi's transit plan, Transit City Plus, focuses on building subways over an extended period of time. In order to fund this plan, Rossi plans on selling vital city assets such as Toronto Hydro and possibly using public-private partnerships to fund his transit expansion. His position on transit will fail to deliver services that various communities throughout the city need immediately and will prolong the current transit woes Torontonians face today.

2. Achieve 70% Waste Diversion by 2012:
No mention

3. Buy and Support Locally-Produced Green Products:
No mention

4. Build Transportation Infrastructure Everyone Can Use:
Rossi has not discussed the Complete Streets Policy, and has proposed an alternative to the Toronto Bike Plan in his platform. He maintains that the bike network can be built on quieter streets that run parallel to the arterial roads. In order to improve his grade, Rossi must consider that the roads should be a place for shared users, and should accomodate for the needs of drivers, riders and pedestrians.

5. Implement the City's Sustainable Energy Strategy:
Rossi does not grasp the importance of the City's Sustainable Energy Strategy. So far, he has not discussed implementing the plan for the city. Furthermore, he has pushed for selling Toronto Hydro if elected, which would make it hard to implement the sustainable energy strategy.

6. Provide Tools to Prevent Pollution:
No mention

Sources Consulted:

  • Campaign Website: roccorossi.com
  • Toronto Star Article here
  • Votetoronto2010.com article here
  • CP24 article here 
  • National Post article here
  • Toronto Star article here
  • Mary Ward SS - Scarborough Debate March 29, 2010
  • Green Living Show Debate April 23, 2010
  • Toronto Real Estate Board Debate May 5, 2010
  • Bloor West Villiage Debate May 5, 2010
  • Annex Debate June 15, 2010
  • TEA meeting with Candidate June 24, 2010

Top of page

George Smitherman – Shows Potential But Needs to Apply Himself 

George likes to talk about the environment, but his enthusiasm doesn’t match his work to date. Compared to Transit City and the Toronto Bike Plan, his integrated transportation plan is not as good for the environment: it will take longer to build, reach fewer people and keep bike lanes off main roads. He has also mentioned the possibility of burning garbage, which harms people and the environment. For George to succeed, he needs to match his enthusiasm with solid planning to achieve a better grade.

On the 6 Environmental Priorities:

1. Build Transit City and Fund It:
Smitherman supports transit expansion but does not support the Transit City Light Rail Plan. He favours subways over some of the Transit City lines and therefore does not have a plan that will deliver public transit to all of Toronto now.

2. Achieve 70% Waste Diversion by 2012:
Smitherman has said that he would hire a Scientific and Technical advisor to help discover new ways of reducing the waste heading to landfill, also suggesting he may consider incineration as a possible means of waste diversion. The use of incineration as a way to reduce landfill has serious health and enviromental implications, and could greatly harm both people and the environment in the process. Though Smitherman has also mentioned the need to implement a blue and green bin strategy in apartment buildings, he has stated no real target or timeline.

3. Buy and Support Locally-Produced Green Products:
No mention

4. Build Transportation Infrastructure Everyone Can Use:
Though Smitherman supports the implementation of an integrated bike strategy, he does not support a true Complete Streets policy, or the Toronto Bike Plan. Smitherman would like to see bike lanes on secondary roads coupled with separated curb lanes, but he believes that dedicated bike lanes should not be on arterial roads.

5. Implement the City's Sustainable Energy Strategy:
Smitherman understands the importance of reducing energy consumption, green power and creating new green jobs and economic activity. He also sees Toronto Hydro as an essential asset to help achieve the Sustainable Energy Strategy. Smitherman says that he will not sell Toronto Hydro as a way of reducing debt.

6. Provide Tools to Prevent Pollution:
No mention

Sources Consulted:

  • Campaign website: www.georgesmitherman.com
  • CP24 article here 
  • Inside Toronto article here 
  • National Post article here
  • Globe and Mail article here 
  • Mary Ward SS - Scarborough Debate March 29, 2010
  • TEA meeting with Candidate April 7, 2010
  • Green Living Show Debate April 23, 2010
  • Toronto Real Estate Board Debate May 5, 2010
  • Bloor West Village Debate May 5, 2010

Sarah Thomson – Eager Participant; Misses Key Lessons 

Sarah is very eager and wants to do well. She acknowledges the need for blue and green bins in apartment buildings, but has no plan to get them there. She supports public transit, but her plan ignores the lessons from the past: subways don’t work in low density neighbourhoods. She also cares about cyclists but doesn’t want to build the routes they need. Sarah, like others, needs to spend the summer reviewing the priorities if she hopes to do well.

On the 6 Environmental Priorities:

1. Build Transit City and Fund It:
Thomson's vision for transit expansion is focused only on subways and she does not support building the 2007 Transit City Plan . Her plan fails to provide timely, accessible and adequate transportation to priority neighbourhoods, instead focusing on a long term subway expansion strategy into neighbourhoods that do not necessarily have the density to support them.

2. Achieve 70% Waste Diversion by 2012:
Though Thomson has mentioned the need to implement blue and green bin programs in high rises, she has not provided any detail, target or plan to implement that strategy.

3. Buy and Support Locally-Produced Green Products:
No mention

4. Build Transportation Infrastructure Everyone Can Use:
Even though Thomson supports the idea of the completion of a bike lane network, she does not support bike lanes on arterial roads and has not provided a plan to implement her proposed network.

5. Implement the City's Sustainable Energy Strategy:
No mention

6. Provide Tools to Prevent Pollution:
No mention

Sources Consulted:

  • Campaign Website: http://sarahthomson.ca
  • CP24 article here 
  • Toronto Star article here
  • Inside Toronto article here 
  • Mary Ward SS - Scarborough Debate March 29, 2010
  • Bloor West Village Debate May 5, 2010
  • Annex Debate June 15, 2010