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The battle for the TTC

By: 
Melissa Graham

March 1, 2012

It seems like you can’t read the news these days without coming across some new report on the battle for the future of Toronto transit. While Mayor Ford stubbornly holds out for a minimal subway like, the public is pushing councillors to revitalize the Transit City plan. But this is much more than a fight between subways and light rail. Also at stake is the future of the city and its transit system, as well as democracy in Toronto.

After a year of mobilizing in streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces, a solid majority of Toronto city council has voted against Ford’s plan. A host of credible transit analysts have given them plenty of evidence to support that vote. Yet Ford continues to ignore the very system of governance that gave him his position, and instead has chosen to silence his opponents.

The Toronto Transit Commission fired chief general manager Gary Webster less than two weeks after he had the nerve to express a professional opinion against Ford’s demand for more subways.

Ford’s plan has not only hurt city staff, but it stands to hurt its people as well. Building a Sheppard subway will require more money from residents, either in the form of road tolls, soaring parking fees, or some other tax. Transit riders are already paying more and getting less from the TTC since Ford took office, through rising fares and cuts to services.

If there is one thing Ford has made clear about the transit situation in Toronto, it’s that the fight is far from over. With cuts happening to transit services across Ontario, we need to continue to support our transit workers; our future depends on it.

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