In February of this year 4RG sponsored a well attended Forum on the threat to Toronto’s Tree Canopy. The panel of Jeff Cullen, Janet McKay and Hilary Cunningham explained how the December 2013 ice storm had devastated the trees that we depend on
- for shade that can mitigate the effects of extreme heat;
- to sustain many natural forest areas within the City,
- as a desirable feature of Toronto’s many Parks,
- as a way to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
- as a means of reducing ground saturation – which is important in controlling floods, and
- as a setting for our recreational environment.
The City has to invest money to repair the damage and to get Toronto back to where it was before being hit by the ice storm. If we want a landscape such as we enjoyed, replanting replacement trees is a priority. Remember that Toronto used to be called a “City of Trees”.
We are pleased to say that John Tory, a candidate for Mayor of Toronto, recognizes the need. He has promised to double the city budget for tree planting, an increase of seven million of dollars, and to work to encourage the private sector and non-profits to do more.
The Mayor has said before that the City should not be in the business of tree planting. To us, that is like saying that city parks should be left to private enterprise.
Torontonians can’t have it both ways. They can’t have the “green growth”environment we formerly enjoyed without substantial investment in our Tree Canopy.
The campaign is early, and an issue as obvious as this deserves the support of every voter. So help us write to Mayor Ford asking him to reconsider his position.