My letter To TTC Commission Board:

Please do not vote to fire Gary Webster, TTC Chief General Manager. He is only presenting evidence based information on the transit needs of Toronto in the context of what Toronto tax payers can afford.

I attended the February 8th Toronto City Council meeting and heard Gary Webster answer Councillors’ questions all morning in a calm, measured manner, presenting facts to the Councillors on which they could base their decisions, which they did by a vote of 25 to 18 in favour of a transit plan that will serve the greatest number of Torontonians in the most timely way.

If some of you choose to vote to fire Mr. Webster and even other staff as I have read in today’s news, I don’t know what you are saying to the people of Toronto. Are you saying that facts don’t matter; that we must have a transit system that will not happen for a generation except for the burying of the Eglinton LRT? Are you saying that the opinion of one man, Mayor Ford, who seems to have some kind of pathological hatred for street-cars and doesn’t understand that LRT’s are not street-cars, takes precedence over science and logic? If you vote to remove Mr. Webster and other staff tomorrow, you will be setting Toronto back a generation while most Torontonians wait for transit while sitting in their cars in gridlock.

The media also leaked a report on transit needs on Eglinton and Sheppard that the media says was actively suppressed by the Mayor for about one year. If this is the case then we are being lied to by the act of ommission. Torontonians need to see this report in order to help them decide what we really need and what we can afford to pay for.

I for one am offended at having presentations made to us without all the facts. Subways are being promoted without a discussion of what they are going to cost in terms of taxes and fees. I have seen the media leak on the Dr. Gordon Chong report. Why are we not hearing that report discussed? We need all of the facts before us before we can make a correct and wise decision about such an important issue as the future of transit in Toronto.

Firing the TTC General Manager is the wrong thing to do. Torontonians need to hear from Gary Webster, not have him silenced.

In fact if you fire Mr. Webster, that act will say more about the members of the TTC Board than anything about Mr. Webster.

Mayor Ford won his election by campaigning on getting rid of the ‘gravy train’. Triggering huge cancellation fees and demanding subways that we cannot afford represents the greatest ‘gravy-train’ any of us have ever seen in a municipal government. Please let us get on with transit plans that make sense for all Torontonians – the ones voted for by a majority of City Council on February 8, 2012.

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About Murray Lumley

Board member of Conscience Canada; Christian Peacemaker Teams Reservist; retired teacher; grandfather
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