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From Ai??TTCriders, a public transit advocacy group that gives transit riders a voice

Why Silence Gary Webster?

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 Mayorai??i??s calls for subways. This time, they are threatening to fire Gary Webster, TTC Chief General Manager.

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

Kirkpatrick noted that the five Commissioners who want to sack Webster also voted againstAi??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 Mayorai??i??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.

These Councillors can be reached at the following email addresses and phone numbers:

Councillor Crisanti -Ai??,Ai??416-392-0205

Councillor Di Giorgio -Ai??,Ai??416-392-4066

Councillor Palacio -Ai??,Ai??416-392-7011

Councillor Minnan-Wong -Ai??,Ai??416-397-9256

Councillor Kelly -Ai??,Ai??416-392-4047

Itai??i??s a sad day for transit riders when five Commissioners who are responsible for our transitAi??system want to fire someone for doing their job.

Ai??Over at the Toronto Star–ttc-

TTCai??i??s Gary Webster would be tough to replace: David Gunn

Ai??Toronto Mayor Rob Ford shows off the Mall Walkers Club T-shirt heAi?? was presented by club members at the start of a walkabout atAi?? Malvern Town Centre in Scarborough on Saturday. Ford refused toAi?? comment about the fate of TTC chief Gary Webster, who is reportedAi?? to be facing the axe.

Ai??Mayor Rob Ford and the TTC will be hard-pressed to find a qualified replacement for Gary Webster if the embattled transit chief is sacked as expected on Tuesday, said David Gunn, an international transit expert who once held the TTCai??i??s top job himself.

ai???There are not a lot of people out there who can just slip into that seat,ai??? Gunn said from his home on Cape Breton Island.

Five councillors loyal to the Ford administration have called a special meeting of the TTC board on Tuesday, where it is believed they will try to fire Webster, the chief general manager who has worked at the transit agency for 35 years.

Webster, a senior bureaucrat and civil engineer, has drawn the Ford administrationai??i??s ire for his refusal to build the case for a subway extension on Sheppard Ave. E. and an underground light-rail transit system on Eglinton Ave.

ai???Whatai??i??s happening is obviously totally political,ai??? said Gunn, who was chief general manager of the TTC from 1995 to 1999, and has led transit authorities in cities across North America, including New York City and Washington.

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