Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

See also Site Map

Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis





December 2009, 9 e-mails

December 8
From: Clean Train Coalition

Clean Train Coalition Wins Award for Environmental Activism

The Clean Train Coalition has been declared the recipient of this year’s Bob Hunter "Damn Fine Activist" Award for outstanding environmental activism. This award, given out annually by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), will be presented by Bob Hunter's family at Ecobunk, TEA’s annual comedy fundraiser, to be held on December 9th at the Lula Lounge.

Bob Hunter was a fearless and dedicated environmentalist best known as a founding member of Greenpeace. Bob was also an inveterate environmental reporter and columnist, as well as a highly respected author and lecturer. As Ecology Specialist for City TV, Bob continued to shine a spotlight on environmental issues, becoming a much beloved hero of the environmental movement.

The Clean Train Coalition is honoured to receive this award, but we have to turn the praise back on all of you. We owe our success to everyone who contributed to this movement. Congratulations to all of us!

A Big Thank You to the Clean Train Student Coalition

Last Friday's student-organized rally and march was a great success. Animated by an incredibly enthusiastic chant leader and accompanied by DJs and musical performers, Two Foot Falls, the students rallied at Yonge-Dundas Square, raising the profile of the Clean Train platform and bringing what has been a largely West-end struggle to a broader demographic. After speeches by Katrina Miller of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, NOW columnist, federal political candidate and musician, Andrew Cash, and others, an energetic crowd of one hundred or so marched up Yonge Street and along College Street to Queen's Park. Inside Queen’s Park, the CTSC hosted a press conference with members of the Clean Train Coalition, and MPP for ParkdaleHighPark, Cheri DiNovo, to whom they presented a petition with over 7,300 signatures calling for immediate electrification of the Georgetown rail corridor. Amazing!

These students put the lie to the myth that today's youth are not active and engaged. They also demonstrated that this issue isn't just about West Toronto, but about the future of this city. The energy of these students was infectious and we look forward to working with these inspiring young people more in the future.

Toronto Climate Campaign and COP 15

On December 12, Students Against Climate Change and the Toronto Climate Campaign are hosting an "enviro-fair”, one of thousands of events being held in cities around the world to coincide with the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. The global community is calling on their leaders to take action now to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The aim of the Copenhagen conference is to produce a new climate change agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

The Clean Train Coalition encourages all interested people join the Toronto Climate Campaign at the Earth Sciences Auditorium at the University of Toronto on December 12. For more details, visit www.torontoclimatecampaign.org

Constituency Meetings with Gerard Kennedy, MP for Parkdale-HighPark

Some of our members have received phone calls from Mr. Kennedy’s office asking if they would still like to meet with him to discuss the proposed diesel expansion. If you receive such a call, we encourage you to say, “Yes, I would still like to meet.” We need to continue to press Mr. Kennedy on this issue and encourage him to speak up for his constituents whose lives will be negatively impacted if this ill-conceived diesel rail expansion is allowed to go through. Tell Kennedy that this issue matters to you, and you expect him to advocate on your behalf.

Continued Strategic Planning

We've been fielding a number of questions about next steps. Fret not; we're working on it!

As we mentioned in our last email, we're engaged in some strategic planning, focusing our energies and charting our course forward. We've scheduled a second planning session for this weekend, and expect to emerge with some concrete plans and projects. Stay tuned, because once we've identified our needs we'll be reaching out for support and assistance. As always, you can contact us at info@cleantrain.ca if you wish to become more involved.

The Clean Train Coalition represents communities along the rail corridor. We believe that a healthy environment and vibrant neighbourhoods depend on smart investment in public transit infrastructure. Build it once, build it right!

SR wrote:

The West Toronto Diamond Leaders' Group wants to let you know that the Canadian Transportation Agency has found in our favour and instructed GO to change the way they piledrive, the hours they piledrive and the way they communicate with the community.

The CTA says that if GO doesn't comply, the CTA may require them to "cease and desist" pile driving.

Attached, you will find the decision.

Thanks to everyone in the community who contributed time, energy and information.

If you here GO working before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m. or they continue to use the diesel hammer pile drivers not in accordance with the decision, please email westdiamondleaders@focusedcreative.com

December 9, 2009
M. S. wrote:

All the talk about the noise what about the dust and the diesel fumes that is a big issue for me my pets are devastated by this dust it effects their eyes and they have to be bathed every second day also my house has to be cleaned from top to bottom especially the main floor every day and one hour after a thorough cleaning there is a layer of dust again on everything.

I have become asthmatic from the fine dust and the toxins in the dust. Does anyone know where I can get this dust analyzed ? It's all in my car and on my car in the heating system. Please help!

December 10, 2009
SR wrote:

I sympathize -- it's awful. But this isn't something the West Toronto Diamond group has tackled and, so far as I know, has any plans to take up. I'd suggest contacting the city's department of public health.

J. W. wrote:

ah yes
a familiar sound
the sound of victory
boom boom boom boom boom

thank you for all your efforts but the hammers continue, business as usual oh well
boom boom boom

SR wrote:

I just spoke with the Canadian Transportation Agency about the fact that, in spite of the ruling, there seemed to be work going on outside the hours and with the diesel hammer -- which is now only allowed to be used to finish up the last few feet of the driving done by the vibro hammer.

The message is that while, yes, they are supposed to stop immediately, it might realistically take one or two days to trickle down to the contractor and the work crews.

So, I'd say we remain patient for today and tomorrow but if, as of Monday, the diesel hammers are put to work driving piles or the work takes place before 8 or after 4, PLEASE email the westdiamondleaders@focusedcreative.com and we'll call the CTA who will send an enforcement officer.

December 14, 2009
SR wrote:

See the message I just sent out please and let us know if it doesn't abate by next week.

J. W. wrote:

the hammers are up and running like any other day. not sure what is happening if they are only to use the diesel hammers at their discretion, ie. when there is no other choice, how can that be monitored? they will just say there is no other way! i am confused about this victory to say the least. best

V. G. wrote:

Another step towards the Davenport Diamond grade separation project, and rail expansion on the Barrie line. This seems to be the conveniently forgotten rail expansion project that is being overshadowed by the Georgetown/Airport project.

More info and links posted here: http://www.junctiontriangle.ca/node/516

December 15, 2009
D. G. wrote:

I agree, I was very hopeful that this issue would be resolved with the new decision, but truly nothing has changed. I immigrated from the US to a country where I thought the government would have a deeper concern for the people, but after this whole ordeal, I realize that they like to screw everyone over just as much. I have lost all faith. The only thing left to do now is wait it out. Supposedly, the pile driving side of the construction will be over by the end of January.

M. R. wrote:

To all those who are wondering what has changed since the court decision I would like to suggest somebody/everybody ask our local MP Gerard Kennedy that question. It was principally Mr Kennedy's office that guided the residents complaint through the set of legal channels it has just emerged from. I suspect that he is the one who might be able to advise on the next step which is now "How do we enforce compliance by Metrolinx with this decision?"

S. D. wrote:

Like you, the community group that formed to try to address this issue is like you, quite frustrated also. It has been an ongoing issue to try to work with GO to address the needs of the community.

The CTA has been contacted to inform them that GO is not complying with the order. When we have additional information we will be happy to share it.

GO may simply be ignoring the order.

If I were to give you an immediate suggestion I would consider contacting two groups.

1) Your communities MP’s, MPP’s and City Counsellor’s have in general been very supportive so consider giving each of their offices a call. I think they are happy to put pressure on GO.

2) Call Metrolinx/GO and complain!! I think it would not hurt to let them know how you feel.

Again, once we have additional information we will be happy to share it.

Content last modified on December 18, 2009, at 04:43 AM EST