Not one more dollar to Car Culture

Every time another poor automaker comes begging for money our governments cough it up.  $17 million here, $200 million there.  Then - "sorry, we don't have money for transit or bicycle infrastructure."  The auto industry dominates our economy.  It also destroys our our ability to live and breathe on this planet.  The government is supposed to protect the public health.  It's time our money stopped supporting the very thing that is killing us, and was put to positive use.  Let's put Ontario to work in sectors that need working on.

That's the essence of this petition.

Here's how it came about:

Our friend Jon divorced his car.  We painted it all white and made it into a petition.  The text on the windshield reads:

We the undersigned do hereby demand that NOT ONE MORE DOLLAR go to promote, support, or perpetuate CAR CULTURE.  We want bike lanes, public transit and a train system.  We want our public space back.  We want local food, clean air, sustainable industry, a liveable future for our children, & an end to oil wars.  We want to dance in the street.  We want a government that values life over money.

More than 4000 people have signed the car and the paper version of the same petition.  However, we discovered that petitions must be submitted in a certain formality of language to be accepted by the government.  So we were forced to re-write the petition as you can read and sign here.

This petition car will be delivered to the Ontario Government on April 22, Earth Day, with a parade from Belleview Park in Kensington Market, up Augusta Ave to College St., then east to Queen's Park.  We'll leave at 1pm, hoping to arrive at Queen's Park by 2pm.  Then we'll head inside to hear the reading of the formal petition at 3pm.

Please join us.

Here it is:

TO The Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

    WHEREAS Car Culture has destroyed and alienated our communities and dominated our public space; WHEREAS equitable mobility is a right, and transportation is a need to all, including the young, the elderly, and those who refuse to drive; WHEREAS Ontario is sorely lacking in infrastructure for active and public transportation (ie. In most of the province there is no choice but to drive a car); WHEREAS a reported 26% of Ontario's economy is directly linked to an auto-manufacturing sector that year after year has proven volatile and unsustainable, requiring billions of dollars in government loans and subsidies under the constant threat of laying-off thousands of workers at a time;      WHEREAS Ontario has covered hundreds of thousands of acres of our country's most fertile farmland with concrete highways and suburban housing developments, and whereas our imported food supply is increasingly threatened in this time of climate change; WHEREAS The Ministry of the Environment issued 39 Smog Alerts in 2007, a year with 86 days of air quality at worse than 30 AQI (Air Quality Index); WHEREAS pollution from smog is directly linked to asthma, breast cancer, leukemia, and the sedentary lifestyle of the auto-dependant is linked to the epidemics of diabetes and obesity that increasingly plague our country; WHEREAS Toronto Public Health reports that 440 deaths per year in the city of Toronto are directly linked to pollution from cars, and Ontario Medical Association estimates 5800 deaths yearly in Ontario from smog; WHEREAS the Canadian Institute of Child Health sites traffic injuries as the leading cause of injury and death in Canadian school children;     WHEREAS billions of dollars are currently spent on the health system to treat accident victims, victims of smog, treatment of diseases linked to our societies reliance on the automobile; WHEREAS financial decisions made by the Ontario Government have a drastic impact on global climate change and the ability of our biosphere to support life.

WE the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

1) Stop any tax-breaks, subsidies or loans to the automotive sector. 2) Create a public awareness campaign exposing the ill effects of automobile dependency.  3) Ban the advertising of automobiles (just like cigarettes).  4) Immediately allocate money to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, public transit, and an inter-city train system, including programs to help shift our labour force into these sectors.  5) Amend the Highway Traffic act making street closures for community festivals distinct from closures for general road construction.  6) Put a halt to development projects that do not support the use of public and active transportation.  7) Create programs to encourage the development of small-scale, mixed organic and natural farming of food for the local market, with tax breaks for hiring labour instead of labour-saving, pollution-creating machines.  8) Measure the cost of all government spending with a triple bottom line, (including social, environmental and economic impact.)   9) Stop subsidizing the destruction of our farmland, the poisoning of our air and the general ill health of our people.  10) Make policy decisions considering the value of life over the value of money.


for more info visit http://www.streetsareforpeople.org
WHEREAS Car Culture has destroyed and alienated our communities and
dominated our public space;     WHEREAS equitable
mobility is a right, and transportation is a need to all, including the
young, the elderly, and those who refuse to drive;    
 WHEREAS Ontario is sorely lacking in infrastructure for active
and public transportation (ie. In most of the province there is no
choice but to drive a car);      WHEREAS a reported
26% of Ontario%u2019s economy is directly linked to an auto-manufacturing
sector that year after year has proven volatile and unsustainable,
requiring billions of dollars in government loans and subsidies under
the constant threat of laying-off thousands of workers at a time;
     WHEREAS Ontario has covered hundreds of
thousands of acres of our country%u2019s most fertile farmland with concrete
highways and suburban housing developments, and whereas our imported
food supply is increasingly threatened in this time of climate change;
    WHEREAS The Ministry of the Environment issued 39
Smog Alerts in 2007, a year with 86 days of air quality at worse than
30 AQI (Air Quality Index);      WHEREAS pollution
from smog is directly linked to asthma, breast cancer, leukemia, and
the sedentary lifestyle of the auto-dependant is linked to the
epidemics of diabetes and obesity that increasingly plague our country;
     WHEREAS Toronto Public Health reports that 440
deaths per year in the city of Toronto are directly linked to pollution
from cars, and Ontario Medical Association estimates 5800 deaths yearly
in Ontario from smog;     WHEREAS the Canadian Institute
of Child Health sites traffic injuries as the leading cause of injury
and death in Canadian school children;     WHEREAS
billions of dollars are currently spent on the health system to treat
accident victims, victims of smog, treatment of diseases linked to our
societies reliance on the automobile.     WHEREAS
financial decisions made by the Ontario Government have a drastic
impact on global climate change and the ability of our biosphere to
support life.
WE the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
1.
Stop any tax-breaks, subsidies or loans to the automotive sector. 
     2. Create a public awareness campaign exposing
the ill effects of automobile
dependency.          3.
Ban the advertising of automobiles (just like cigarettes).  
 4. Immediately allocate money to pedestrian and bicycle
infrastructure, public transit, and an inter-city train system,
including programs to help shift our labour force into these
sectors.         5. Amend the
Highway Traffic act making street closures for community festivals
distinct from closures for general road
construction.     6. Put a halt to development
projects that do not support the use of public and active
transportation.  7. Create programs to encourage the development
of small-scale, mixed organic and natural farming of food for the local
market, with tax breaks for hiring labour instead of labour-saving,
pollution-creating machines.      8. Measure the
cost of all government spending with a triple bottom line, (including
social, environmental and economic impact.)    9. Stop
subsidizing the destruction of our farmland, the poisoning of our air
and the general ill health of our people.  
     10. Make policy decisions considering the
value of life over the value of money.
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