Supporting and working with other organizations who share our goals is a key strategy for Toronto350. We are proud members of several coalitions. One of them is TCAN, the Toronto Climate Action Network, which brings together a number of environmental organizations in the City. Another is the Good Jobs for All Coalition, whose co-chair will be presenting at our January 9th, 2018 educational meeting (6:30 p.m., 25 Cecil Street). This coalition brings together partners in the labour, environmental and social justice movements. We are also part of the Fight for 15 and Fairness campaign; while provincial in scope, many of its actions take place in Toronto, for example when we march with the “Raise Wages, not the seas” banner at various rallies.
We are happy to work with both TCAN and the Good Jobs for All Coalition in mobilizing the community to demand Toronto City Council support the TransformTO climate action plan. The plan was passed by Council in July 2017, and aims to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGE) by 30% by 2020, 65% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. While the 80% reduction in GGE by 2050 is late, the main themes of TransformTO are worth supporting.
But while Toronto City Council unanimously approved the plan now they refuse to fund its implementation. City staff recommended that $2.5 million would be required in 2018 budget. This is a decrease from the $6.7 million they were recommending as they didn't get full funding in the 2017 budget.
Council says there is $9 million leftover in the proposed 2018 budget. The trouble is, about $40 million is needed to fund not only TransformTO but other critical initiatives such as the Fair Fare Pass for low-income transit riders, two-hour transfers for the transit system, “Tenants First” – improvements to Toronto Community Housing, and the very important Poverty Reduction Strategy. We are clear that Council will not get away with trying to pit environmental activists against anti-poverty advocates to fight for crumbs from the budget.
The coalitions we are part of are calling for everyone to put pressure on the Mayor and Council to fully fund TransformTO. For the online petition, please use or adapt the petition wording to contact the Mayor and members of Council.