Wood you believe 3.8 million trees?

By Gerald V. Paul

Mayor-elect John Tory wants Toronto to get going and get growing.

Monday night after winning the election, Tory handed out tree seedlings to those listening to his victory speech, including one for The Camera.

The seedlings are a symbolic start to his plan to plant 3.8 million trees in the city to help the canopy recover from the ice storm last winter and from damage by beetles.

Tory pledged to increase funding for Toronto’s current five-year tree-planting from $7 million to $15 million and to work with other groups to get the 3.8 million trees in the ground over the next decade.

In a Toronto Environmental Alliance candidate survey, Tory earned a 61% approval rating for his plan.

He also plans a Sustainable City Advisory Board to provide advice on innovative solutions to energy efficiency and climate change and wants to appoint an environment advocate to coordinate environmental policies and strategies across city departments.

On Tuesday, Tory named his transition team which includes Jamaican-born Joe Halstead, former commissioner of economic development for the city and Jamaican-born Dr. Alvin Curling, former speaker in the Ontario Legislature.