Vancouver loses to Toronto in battle of the green
Published Monday, March 29, 2010 7:52PM PDT
It's not something Vancouverites like to hear, but the numbers don't lie. When it came to turning off for Earth Hour, the "green" West Coast city was beaten handily by the Big Smoke itself -- Toronto.
Many British Columbians were enlightened, so to speak, and did power down.
Environment Minister Barry Penner did his part, though it almost cost him a trip to the vet.
"For myself and my wife, we actually enjoyed a very romantic candlelight dinner that was only interrupted when our cat set himself on fire by brushing up against the flame. That caused some excitement," Penner told reporters.
But overall, there wasn't too much excitement over Earth Hour in Vancouver -- the city trimmed its consumption by only 1.4 per cent.
Compare that to the country's biggest city, where the juice was cut by a whopping ten per cent.
It could have been that Vancouverites were reluctant to shut off the TV while the Canucks were playing.
But environmentalists said they weren't surprised by the discrepancy, explaining that Earth Hour was a much bigger event back East, with a big public concert featuring Chantal Kreviazuk.
"It was in the media for days," David Helliwell of Pulse Energy told CTV News. "They had all sorts of concerts and events."
So why wasn't there a party here, where we've proven we know how to party and pride ourselves on being green?
"I think in part we felt that Vancouver was just a little bit partied and concerted out after the Olympics," said Darcy Dobell of WWF Canada, which organized the Toronto event.
Despite the disappointing numbers in Vancouver, WWF says Earth Hour was a huge success. It likes what it saw in Toronto, and wants a concert next year in Vancouver.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's St. John Alexander