A second meeting for a fledgling East End Sustainability Network is set for this coming Saturday. The first meeting in May gathered a diverse array of environmentally-conscious groups and residents, with the aim of creating a network which would unify and intensify their efforts.
Organized by Beaches-East York MP Matthew Kellway and Toronto Danforth MP Craig Scott, the first meeting saw people sign up under particular issues of concern and begin the task of organizing. Some of the areas covered included community gardening, transit, green space, the waterfront, air quality and climate change. The MPs are hoping to focus the force of the community into a “legislative agenda to build a sustainable urban environment,” according to the meeting announcement.
While there are a number of active groups and citizens throughout the Beach, Riverdale and East York, they have never been brought together as a unified front in the past.
“The East End of this City has a long history contending with industrial and post-industrial environmental degradation,” said Kellway.
At the May meeting, Scott pointed out that institutional politics isn’t easy to deal with by its nature. Kellway added, “He and I represent institutional politics, and our invitation to you today is to pick us up by the scruff of the neck and let us know where we should be going.”
Participants at the meeting were asked what a sustainable East End would look like and to suggest possible joint initiatives. A need for education opportunities, information communication and peer support emerged from the day’s session, according to Kellway.
“My goal, and Craig’s goal, is to support our community in their efforts through the facilitation of a network. But more than that, we feel that it’s our responsibility as elected representatives to channel that activism,” he said.
While the first meeting worked with a theme of picturing a sustainable East End, the next one will begin to shift focus on how to achieve that vision. The East End Sustainability Network will meet on Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the East End Community Health Centre, 1619 Queen St. E. at Coxwell. The meeting is open to anyone concerned with the environment and sustainability.