TTCriders ask: “Why silence Gary Webster?”

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2012

Toronto: For the second time in less than a month, 5 TTC Commissioners are trying to silence TTC staff from doing their jobs: giving expert opinions on transit expansion that contradicts the Mayor’s calls for subways. This time, they are threatening to fire Gary Webster, TTC Chief General Manager.

“Why are they firing Gary Webster,” asked Jamie Kirkpatrick, spokesperson for TTCriders. “Are they afraid he will do his job and provide an objective analysis of how transit expansion should happen in Toronto?”

Kirkpatrick noted that the five Commissioners who want to sack Webster also voted against allowing TTC staff to provide information on options for transit expansion at the January 31st TTC meeting.

Commissioners Crisanti, Di Giorgio, Kelly, Minnan-Wong and Palacio also voted with the Mayor against a Council-approved plan to build 3 new Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines throughout the city. This fully funded plan was adopted at a special Council meeting on February 8th. As well, these Commissioners support the Mayor’s call for a subway along Sheppard, instead of a fully funded LRT, even though TTC staff reports and other transit experts agree the proposed subway is unnecessary and not affordable.

“It’s a sad day for transit riders when five Commissioners who are responsible for our transit system want to fire someone for doing their job,” said Kirkpatrick. “Every Torontonian who cares about the TTC should immediately call the Mayor and ask him to put a stop to this.”

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For More Information: Jamie Kirkpatrick, Public Transit Campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Alliance, 416-596-0660; email: jamie@torontoenvironment.org

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