Dear Green Neighbours
After a year of pandemic-related isolation, it's more important than ever to reach out and connect with others to keep the fight for climate justice going. It may seem like a lonely battle, but there are many of us out there working together to make change. Read on to find ways of connecting and to get inspiration!
Green 11 is a volunteer driven community group. If there is a green initiative that you are interested in starting and recruiting volunteers for, please get in touch with us and we will see how we can support you. If you are wondering if people in Ward 11 are working on a particular green project, get in touch with us and we might be able to point you in the right direction.
Green 11 Monthly Meeting
Saturday, March 20, 7-9 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting, Saturday, March 20, 7-9 p.m. Contact Paul Overy at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.
Calls to Action
Let’s get Toronto onboard the gas plant phase-out train
The Ford government is planning to ramp up gas plants by more than 500% blowing our climate commitments. So far, 63 groups and 19 municipalities are calling for an Ontario gas-plant phase out! Toronto City Council is voting on a motion March 10th calling on the Province to Phase-Out Gas-Fired Electricity Generation. If you are a resident of Toronto, please send your Councillor and Mayor John Tory a message telling them to support the gas plant phase-out motion which has been signed by 15 other municipalities already. More information and tools to take action from Clean Air alliance here
Oppose Bad Changes to Land Use Planning Posed in Bill 245
Last week, the Ford government introduced Bill 245, the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021. Bill 245 is a large omnibus bill that includes changes to the appointment process for judges, the creation of a new mega-tribunal to deal with land-use planning decisions, and the removal of appeal rights from various environmental statutes.
Schedule 6 merges the five tribunals within the current Ontario Land Tribunals into a single mega-tribunal. A major function of a tribunal is to provide access to adjudicators with specialized expertise. As it stands, Bill 245 does not require an adjudicator who is hearing an environmental matter to have any environmental qualifications. If passed, schedule 6 has the potential to undermine due process and fast-track development, limit public consultation and participation in land-use planning, and further gut environmental protection.
Bill 245 is currently at second reading, which means your MPP can raise concerns directly with the Ford government. If you are interested in speaking at the committee, you can do so by registering here. If you have any thoughts you would like to share with University Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell, email email@example.com. Details on schedule 6 can be found at Jessica Bell’s website here.
Take the City Shelter Survey
The City is currently undertaking a third-party review of its community engagement process for new shelter and other services for people experiencing homelessness. This review will identify opportunities to enhance this process, to make sure that all new shelter and other services for people experiencing homelessness are set up for success.
The City is inviting local residents and businesses to share their perspectives. All residents are encouraged to share their ideas, whether or not they have participated in the community engagement process or live near a shelter or a service for people experiencing homelessness.
There are two ways residents and businesses can provide input into the Community Engagement Review process:
1. Participate in an anonymous online survey
2. Participate in a virtual focus group
You can learn more about the Community Engagement Review process on the Welcoming New Shelters web page. The survey will be open until 9 a.m. on Monday, March 8.
Tell Canada's Leaders to Redress Environmental Racism
A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230) was introduced in the House of Commons on February 26, 2020, by Lenore Zann, the MP for Cumberland-Colchester, and moved forward to second reading on December 8, 2020. The debate at second reading continues on March 23, 2021, after which the bill will be voted on. You can sign the petition to tell Canada's leaders that we need to redress environmental racism across Canada.
Stop Highway 413
The Ontario government is trying to fast-track approval for a new mega-highway, Highway 413, that would pave over important farmland, forests, rivers, and a section of the Greenbelt in the northern section of the GTHA. Back in 2018 this same project was cancelled by the province because it would cost billions of dollars and do massive environmental damage, while saving drivers just 30 seconds off their commute.
But now it’s back. And it will mean more cars, more air pollution, and more carbon emissions. Ontario doesn’t need a new mega-highway. We need better GO service, better cycling and transit, and more support for transportation options that will help Ontario fight climate change, protect green spaces and reduce air pollution.
You can sign the Environmental Defence petition to tell Ontario you don’t want Highway 413.
Take the Natural Garden Exemption survey
The City is seeking feedback on the natural garden exemption requirement and wants input from Toronto residents. Feedback will inform a report expected at the Planning and Housing Committee in Q2 2021.
The Grass and Weeds Bylaw requires that grass and weeds on private property be maintained so that growth does not exceed 20 cm (8 inches) in height. However, property owners or occupants can apply for a permit to be exempted from this requirement if they have a natural garden. Natural gardens provide environmental benefits, including the creation of natural habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
Staff are considering removing the requirement for natural garden exemption permits. This means that residents can have a natural garden without applying for an exemption. Natural gardens will still need to meet maintenance requirements to ensure health and safety of Toronto's neighbourhoods.
Residents can provide feedback on this proposal by emailing MLSFeedback@toronto.ca. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 31. More information is available at toronto.ca/NaturalGarden
Green Online Events and Webinars
Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency with Seth Klein
Tuesday, March 9, 7 p.m. ET
What if our governments treated the climate crisis like a real crisis? What if we mobilized public resources to fight the climate crisis with the full recognition that our lives and society depend on it? These are the ideas that Seth Klein explores in his new book, A Good War, Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. The book draws out lessons from Canada’s experience in World War II that we can now apply to fight the climate crisis.
Council of Canadians is hosting a conversation with Seth Klein and local Green New Deal organizers across the country to explore how we can apply the lessons learned from Canada’s war-time transformations to the current climate crisis. Register here.
Growing the Future - Online Cooking Classes for Kids
Tuesdays, March 9 - March 30
Growing the Future is a weekly cooking class for kids by Greenest City. These classes strive to not only teach about food, nutrition and cooking techniques, but also larger conversations about where our food comes from, how different cooking methods work and why we do certain things while cooking. Greenest City wants to teach usable skills while trying to instill a sense of curiosity about food that will extend beyond the class. If you would like to know more about the classes or sign up for one of the sessions, CLICK HERE!
What do Canadians really think about climate change and what’s holding back public demand for action?
Wednesday, March 10, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Join leading communications expert Cara Pike and seasoned strategists Chris Hatch and Hugo Séguin to peel back the layers of Canadian public opinion on climate and energy. This webinar from Climate Access and Climate Narratives Initiative features findings from a new comprehensive report that summarizes and translates more than 40 surveys published between 2019 and early 2021 into key trends and simple takeaways for climate communicators. Register here. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacred Earth Day of Action Virtual Letter Writing Party
Thursday, March 11, 11:00 AM
March 11 is Sacred People, Sacred Earth Day, the biggest ever faith-based climate day of action, when people of faith and conscience worldwide will take part in grassroots actions for climate justice. Join members of For the Love of Creation on the Sacred People Sacred Earth Day of Action for a virtual letter writing party. Drop in, learn more about our Faith-in-Action campaign, ask questions, and send letters calling for increased federal climate action. Register here
Pathways to Zero Webinar Series
Thursdays, March 11 - 25, 1 p.m.
Climate Action Network’s Pathways to Zero series wraps up this month. Each week, as part of a themed conversation, hear from the experts, leaders, movers and shakers who work every day to put us on the path towards decarbonization. Week by week, learn together about the initiatives and journeys communities are already embarking upon to ensure we reach zero emissions, while prioritizing wellbeing and dignity for all. Upcoming events include:
More info, full schedule, and videos from past events here
TRCA Offers Free Online Winter Activities
Kitchen Table Climate Conversations Training Series
Mondays, March 1- April 12
Starting March 1st, ClimateFast is hosting a series of 4 training webcasts on their Kitchen Table Climate Conversation model. If you are considering hosting or facilitating a conversation with your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues, faith or other group, attend this series to learn more! Join others to tackle the challenge of talking about the climate crisis and grow the movement! It is recommended that you attend the full series. Registration for each training session is done separately. Find more information at the Climate Conversations website.
Register for March 15 - A Model Conversation
This second webcast focuses on how to take the conversation online, sharing tips for making the conversation interactive. You’ll hear some stories about how holding conversations has gone for people and what we’ve learned! There will be a Q & A at the end of the webcast if you have any unanswered questions.
Register for March 29 - Nuts and Bolts (and inspirational stories!)
Register for April 12 – Collective Courage
Fridays For Future Global Climate Strike
Friday, March 19
In the midst of the various public health, sociopolitical, and economic crises that the world continues to face entering the new year, climate activists are gearing up for the next Global Climate Strike on March 19th to demand immediate, concrete, and ambitious action from world leaders in response to the on-going climate crisis.
Part of what they want to highlight in the coming strike is the urgency of immediate action in the face of the weather- and climate-related disasters that devastated various countries last year, from the wildfires that afflicted parts of Australia, North America, and Latin America, to the droughts in Africa, to the storms that devastated Central America and Southeast Asia.
The call for #NoMoreEmptyPromises is uniting people beyond borders under the same goal of immediate climate action. See the Fridays for Future website for more details
Climate Ventures Conversations: Mary Pickering from Low Carbon Cities Canada
Thursday, March 25, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET
In this month's Climate Ventures Conversations, CSI's Stefan Hostettor will be chatting with Mary Pickering, VP of Strategy & Partnerships with The Atmospheric Fund and Senior Advisor to Low Carbon Cities Canada, an ambitious partnership to help cities reach their full emissions-reduction potential while unlocking co-benefits for local communities. Register here
Green News and Resources
Healthy Communities Initiative now open for applications
The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to support a broad range of organizations, including Indigenous governing bodies, local governments, charities, community groups, and nonprofits, to deliver projects, programming, and services that help communities create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health. Organizations can apply to the Healthy Communities Initiative starting February 9 through March 9.
The Healthy Communities Initiative will host a series of community mobilization sessions, where you can learn more about the program themes, get inspired by project examples, and ask for advice on starting your project. All sessions will take place with simultaneous interpretation in French and English. See here for details on each session and how to register.
Educational, Contextual, and Racial Diversity in Climate Action: A Discussion with Julius Lindsay How's the Climate?
In this episode of How’s The Climate?, Julius Lindsay joins Matthew and Emiko to speak about his extensive experiences in the Ontario climate field, discussing the racial and economic issues related to climate change, why STEM backgrounds are so valuable in climate action, and how he founded the Black Environmental Alliance this past year.
Federal Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Canada: COVID-19 edition
Canada is at a crossroads. Canada’s federal fossil fuel subsidies jumped over 200% from 2019 to 2020, mostly due to additional funds committed in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of the subsidies provided since the pandemic began include social and environmental elements, others do not. Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and its newly strengthened climate plan must be accompanied by fossil fuel subsidy reform to effectively accelerate a transition to a net-zero carbon economy while implementing measures to protect workers and communities. This includes applying green strings to all COVID-19 recovery measures. Read the International Institute for Sustainable Development report by Vanessa Corkal here
Climate Justice Toronto
Climate Justice Toronto is a youth-led collective fighting for a Green New Deal, Indigenous sovereignty, migrant justice, and good jobs for all through grassroots organizing, solidarity-building, and mobilizing a broad-based youth movement across the GTA. Their aim is to build an irresistible movement to confront the climate crisis by addressing its root causes: capitalism, colonialism and white supremacy. Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Electricity needed to mine bitcoin is more than used by 'entire countries'
Bitcoin mining – the process in which a bitcoin is awarded to a computer that solves a complex series of algorithm – is a deeply energy intensive process
'Good people fall victim to doomism. I do too sometimes'
The author and eminent climate scientist Michael E Mann on climate deniers’ new tactics and why positive change feels closer than it has done in 20 years
Zero Waste News and Events
Waste Wise Resolution Challenge
Are You a #FoodDefender? Join Second Harvest's Waste Wise Resolution Challenge. In a little more than a month, you can make simple changes that are good for you, your budget and the planet! Become a #FoodDefender! Sign up here.
20% of avoidable food waste occurs at the household level. With rising food insecurity, food prices and climate changes, we need you to take that challenge. Sign the pledge and receive your very own Waste Wise Calendar + regular tips to help you meet your goals!
As a Food Defender, keeping unnecessary food waste out of landfills is a tangible way to care for our planet. Increase abundance, care for the Earth, share the challenge with your friends and help build a community of Food Defenders and Waste Wise leaders!
Waste-Free Produce Guide
The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets and in grocery stores makes it easy to enjoy healthy, delicious produce year-round. Use Nada’s waste-free produce guide to store your fruits and veggies so they stay fresh, and learn to freeze or use up what you don’t eat right away.
More Zero Waste Events
For more zero waste related news and events taking place across Toronto check out Zero Waste Hub Toronto on Facebook and Twitter!
Urban Agriculture Events, News and Resources
Help get food growing locally with TreeMobile
TreeMobile is a not-for-profit and volunteer powered organization that supplies climate-appropriate fruit trees and plants at low cost.TreeMobile is about 'people planting resilience'. It is designed to:
Find out more here
- Empower people to achieve food security by planting and growing their own food
- Make seasonal organics locally accessible
- Be locally supported
- Improve the urban canopy
New! TreeMobile’s High-Rise Package
Are you one of the many Toronto residents who lives in a tower? TreeMobile’s new high-rise package provides a selection of plants that will grow on your balcony! Don't wait for someone else to make vertical farming a reality. Make it your reality! Then get all your neighbours to do it, too, and when people look at your building they'll see green.
Food Garden Life Show
The Food Garden Life Show is an award-winning show that celebrates food gardens, food, family, community, and a slightly slower life. Once a month, the show airs live on radio, with hour-long episodes that include live guests, Emma’s Tomato-Talk segment, and Steven’s Biggs-on-Figs segment. Tune in live on the first Wednesday of the month at 2 p.m. (ET) on RealityRadio101. Weekly podcasts dig into growing, cooking, and using the garden to build community.
Toronto Urban Growers
Grow Food Toronto
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more
Calls for Volunteers and Donations
Volunteer at your local Butt Blitz
A Greener Future is looking for volunteers from 25 locations across Canada to join our 2021 Butt Blitz. Volunteers will be tasked with the goal of picking up 5,000 cigarette butts from their local communities and green spaces during the month of April.
Find more information and register here
- When: April 1st - 30th, 2021
- Where: Find locations here
- Purpose: To take action on cigarette litter in our local communities
- Goal: 5,000 cigarette butts each = 1 million butts picked up across Canada
- Fun Fact: All cigarette butts will be sent to TerraCycle for recycling
Using your philanthropy to advance racial justice
The Toronto Foundation has compiled a list of Black and Indigenous led and serving organizations in the city that are accepting donations, as well as a set of guiding principles for giving.
Active Transportation News and Resources
The temporary ActiveTO bike lanes across the city are less than a year old, and they’re already having a positive impact on Torontonians’ lives. Research out of the University of Toronto is showing that ActiveTO is improving low-stress cycling access to jobs, parkland, and grocery stores. If you want to see ActiveTO made permanent, improved, and expanded, sign the Cycle Toronto petition to keep ActiveTO!
Toronto’s COVID-19 bike lane expansion boosted access to jobs, retail: U of T study
Designing for the Right Speed: The Safe Systems Approach
Safe Systems determines the right speed to design for by considering the vulnerability of humans, so that if a collision occurs, it’s much less likely to be severe.
Leslieville Park-ing:Taking the Laneway to School
The Laneway Project has been transforming the back alleys of Toronto for many years. Read about their current east end project and get inspired! Their latest blog post outlines their exciting community-centred plans for a giant new road mural, additional safety measures such as extra-efficient LED lighting, and self-sustaining permaculture planter gardens. The planned laneway makeover especially aims to make the laneway walk to school not only more safe, but also more fun and memorable for young students and their parents.
Are there green news or resources you'd like to see included in the Green 11 newsletters? Send your items and ideas to email@example.com.