Politicians, volunteers clean up their neighbourhoods

Some of Toronto’s politicians and residents refuse to sit and watch their trash pile up any longer. They’re taking action and cleaning it themselves.

Tomorrow (July 18), One Toronto — a residents’ grassroots organization that’s been endorsed by Toronto Centre MPP George Smitherman — have organized garbage clean-ups in their riding.

The group started after Pride Week, when citizens helped clean litter on the streets.

Since Smitherman’s involvement the movement has taken off, said Erika Mozes, spokesperson for the group.

“We’ve had thousands of hits on our website,” said Mozes. “We’re also getting a lot of individual Toronto residents who are emailing us and telling us about their initiatives within their own community.”

Ward 29 councillor Case Ootes has organized a clean-up at 8:30 a.m. in the Broadview Parkette, near the Broadview subway station.

“There’s some parts of the major arterial streets where there’s some accumulation of garbage and I think it’s time to clean it up,” said Ootes, adding he expects a turnout of about 20 to 30 people.

He said they didn’t organize it to fall within One Toronto’s clean-up day, but through serendipity it just happened that way.

As for whether he’s afraid of ruffling any union feathers or affecting negotiations, he said the cleanup shouldn’t be an issue.

“It’s the citizens of the ward that are doing the cleanup,” said Ootes. “It’s not as if we have replacement workers that are getting paid, so I don’t expect any negative feedback.”

He said it’s unfortunate citizens have to take action to rid their own areas of trash, but that’s one of the drawbacks of the civic strike.

Willowdale MPP David Zimmeris also holding his own waste removal day at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. for 3 p.m.

“This is not about the strikers,” he said. “This is about people saying I’m proud of this city.”

Zimmer said about 50 or more people have formally volunteered to help.

Andrew Lang, Toronto-Danforth’s Liberal candidate during the 2008 federal election, is also dusting off his neighbourhood.

His clean-up will be at 12:30 p.m. and will cover the areas of Queen St. East between Broadview and Carlaw Aves., Gerrard St. between Broadview and Logan Aves. and Gerrard St. between Coxwell and Greenwood Aves.

About this article:

By: Josephine Lim
Posted: Jul 17 2009 5:01 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto