When it comes to Toronto's battle against smog, there's definitely room for improvement, according to the annual Toronto Environmental Alliance report card.

The city got a C+ for their efforts to combat climate change. That's slightly better than the C- they got in 2006, but TEA says Toronto can still do a lot better.

While the non-profit organization lauded city councillors for expanding Toronto's transit system as part of their plan to tackle smog, TEA chided them for dragging out a fight over new taxes.

TEA said in a news release the city made a mistake by not accepting the additional revenue back in July when it was first proposed. Budget cuts had to be made because of the delay. Smog-fighting initiatives had to be scaled back and as a result, so did the city's overall grade.

"Toronto was on track for a B or B+ before it voted to defer the new taxes in July," Franz Hartmann, TEA's executive director said in the news release. "That vote sucked the life out of the Smog and Climate Change Plan for four months and put basic improvements to the TTC in jeopardy."

The taxes, a land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee, were eventually passed earlier this month.

The intense debate over the new taxes made some people doubt whether they would be passed at all. TEA is now asking Toronto to recommit to its climate change plan by considering some of the organization's recommendations for the city's 2008 budget.

They include:

  • Freezing TTC fares
  • Funding TTC service improvements
  • Investing in green power and energy efficiency
  • Supporting community anti-smog actions

"We spent the last four months wondering whether the smog and climate change plan would be still-born," said Katrina Miller, TEA's campaigns director. "Now we want assurances in the 2008 budget that fighting smog is still a priority for this city."

Toronto also received high marks for retrofitting 200 city buildings for energy efficiency and dedicating $84 million for other efficiency projects.