‘Where were they?’

For Monica Gupta, the smell of rotting garbage wafting up from Christie Pits reeks of disappoint­ment.

For Monica Gupta, the smell of rotting garbage wafting up from Christie Pits reeks of disappoint­ment.

Not just at the city for transforming her beloved park into a temporary dump. But at the city’s environmental groups for not helping her fight them.

“Where were they?” says Gupta, the chair of the Friends of Christie Pits. “We got no response. We were really really shocked with that. It was very awkwardly quiet.”

It’s a question many people are asking: where did the city’s environmentalists go during what was an obvious environmental crisis?

There were no backyard compost blitzes; no anti-packaging campaigns at big box stores; no reusable mug sales beside the overflowing garbage cans outside Tim Hortons.

Environmentalists say it simply was a case of no bodies, no time, summer vacation.

“People have this overblown idea of how large environmental organizations are,” says Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence, which has a staff of 25 people. “We would have needed to divert resources in short period of time during the summer when half the staff is on vacation.”

 
 
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