City Youth Council of Toronto votes for our by-law

February 13, 2013

Our_Horizon_CH_16  dave edited

The City Youth Council of Toronto passed our idea this weekend at Toronto City Hall with a vote of 23-1.

On their agenda for February 9th was a motion “… to recommend that the City of Toronto require all vendors of gasoline to post warning stickers on pumps.” The vote at the committee level three weeks prior to this meeting was unanimous. It’s a strong statement from Toronto’s youth leadership to City Hall.

The CYCTO is an “outlet for Toronto’s youth voice.” Youth councillors are elected by their peers and partner “closely with City Councillors and City Hall.” The Youth Council’s “resolutions and recommendations are submitted directly to local policymakers.”

The motion has now been tentatively scheduled for consideration by Toronto City Council at the committee level on March 4, 2013.

Our Horizon‘s Executive Director Robert Shirkey presented the concept for a half hour and then fielded questions from youth councillors for another half hour. He described the idea as “low-cost, high-impact and globally-unprecedented.” Many youth councillors then spoke up in favour of the proposal and called for their colleagues at City Hall to lead on this issue.

Municipalities have the authority to use their licensing powers to require gasoline retailers to place warning labels on gas pump nozzles similar to those found on cigarette packages. The concept connects a behaviour with its consequence right at the point of purchase. Our Horizon has developed a database with every single mayor, reeve, councillor and alderperson’s email in all of Canada. Their website launched just over two weeks ago and citizens have already used it to send over 3,000 emails to their elected representatives. Our Horizon will be sending an email to introduce the idea to the over 25,000 representatives at the municipal level of government in Canada late next week.

If Toronto’s city councillors were to pass this by-law, it would create a global precedent and the concept would rapidly spread from there. Toronto now has the opportunity to show bold leadership on what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called “the moral challenge of our generation.”

Please direct media requests to Tess Van Osch at

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