Toronto Mayor David Miller drives a hybrid. He cares about the environment. He thinks you should too.

But even if you don’t put as high a priority on the environment as Miller does, you are going to do your part. You will do what David Miller tells you and pay the price.

In honour of Earth Day, Mayor David Miller’s schedule this week largely revolves around the issue that he hopes will define his administration: greening Toronto.

Yesterday Mr. Miller announced $21-million worth of measures to make City Hall a showcase for green technologies, including $500,000 to buy emissions-free electricity from Bullfrog Power, and $2.3-million for a green roof.


Midway through his second mandate, Toronto’s hybrid-driving Mayor has devoted significant time and resources to greening the city — while chairing the C-40, a group of like-minded civic leaders from around the globe.

The city is spending $140,000 to fund the C-40’s London, U. K., headquarters, with the money coming from the $8-million budget of the Toronto Environment Office, the 25-person nerve centre of the city’s green policy agenda.

But critics question the true impact of the millions of dollars, along with the raft of regulation, layers of bureaucracy and scores of feel-good announcements the Mayor uses to further his environmental agenda.


Toronto has also used its regulatory powers to assert its green agenda. The city has bylaws outlawing vehicles idling more than three minutes, forbidding residents from cutting trees more than 30 centimetres in diameter even on their own property, requiring stores to charge for plastic bags and banning the sale of bottled water at City Hall.

It may soon enact North America’s first bylaw requiring rooftop greenery, and even bar the disposable paper coffee cup with plastic lid.

All of Miller’s green gimmickry is doing little to help Toronto’s economy. We are witnessing Toronto’s slide into mediocrity under David Miller’s watch. He just doesn’t get it.