Monday, 6 February 2012

Toronto Councillors To Vote For the Return of Most of Transit City

TTC Chair Karen Stintz Moves To Bury Rob Ford's Subway

This Wednesday, Toronto city council will vote to bring back most of the Transit City plan. 24 members of council have called the meeting to force this vote - a vote that should have happened a year ago, and a vote that has to be held by law to rule on the fate of Transit City - a vote that Ford has been trying to avoid. Ford's plan to mislead council and to try to ignore the Transit City plan, and to just have his own way by dismantling the Transit City plan and imposing his own misguided plan - breaks the law. City council is finally taking the reigns away from Ford and is saying enough is enough.

TTC chair Karen Stintz plans to present a petition to the city clerk on Monday morning asking for a special council meeting on Wednesday. The petition is signed by 24 councillors, which constitutes a majority which in turn requires the clerk to schedule a meeting. Under city bylaws that meeting must be held within 48 hours.

Councillors at the special meeting will be asked to confirm a 2009 memorandum of agreement (MOA) for a light rail plan forged during former mayor David Miller’s administration. It is signed by the city, TTC and Metrolinx and runs out March 31. 

That agreement calls for LRTs on Eglinton, Sheppard East and Finch West, [the Transit City plan] and effectively scuttles Ford’s vision of tunnelling the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT east of Laird Dr. to Kennedy station.

This is the vote that should have happened a year ago when Ford unilaterally and illegally declared Transit City dead. Just after Ford was elected mayor, many were predicting that council would not go along with Ford's nonsense ideas - that they would keep him in check. For his first year, this did not happen; his bad ideas were generally supported. This vote on Wednesday could be the turning point that most Torontonians have been waiting for. What the opposition on council lacked was leadership. What we are beginning to see is the collective will of the majority of council beginning to strengthen against the destructive drive of the mayor. The tide is finally turning against the bully mayor and his gangster politics. Toronto may be able to breathe a sigh of relief - and we will get our dream of a better and expanded transit system (the one that was already in place before Ford tried to derail it).

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