We would like to extend a big thank you to all of this year's golf tournament sponsors:
ATU Local 589
Season Group Corporation
Northern Trust Company, Canada
James A. Knowles Inc.
Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.
Canadian Benefits Consulting Group
Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP
Atchison & Denman Court Reporting Services Ltd
TD Asset Management Inc.
State Street Global Advisors
Thornburg Investment Management
Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc.
Northleaf Capital Partners (Canada) Ltd.
Thistle Printing Limited
Baycor Construction Ltd.
Stern Cohen LLP
Mawer Investment Management Ltd.
Burgundy Asset Management Ltd.
ATU Local 308
Mercer (Canada) Limited
Crestline Canada Inc.
Invesco Trimark Institutional Investments
Canso Investment Counsel Ltd
The Personal Insurance Company
Phillips Hager & North Investment Management
Should a Bus Operator be fired for running a red light? That question has gripped Toronto since the first airing of the amateur video showing a TTC going through a red light at Eglinton near Kennedy last week. Before her disciplinary meeting, the Operator, a single mother of two, who wishes to remain anonymous wrote a letter to TTC management fully explaining what happened and apologized very contritely. It had no effect. She was fired. President Bob Kinnear then issued a public statement asking the TTC to reconsider the firing and assign the Operator to another job, perhaps after a suspension. Kinnear stressed to the public that the union does not minimize the error and that the union’s strict policy is “Safety First.” Even so, the punishment should fit the offence. No one was injured and the circumstances were such that anyone could have made the same error. All major TV networks, several radio stations and newspapers carried the story, which was discussed all over the city.
An interesting twist happened on Wednesday when the man who shot the video called Bob Kinnear and said he was “devastated” that the video had caused the woman to lose her job. He gave the union permission to release his statement and agreed to talk to the media.
The TTC is unmoved by all of this. Brad Ross told the media that the TTC considers the matter “closed.” The union, however, does not. We believe that the penalty was too harsh. The TTC hired her for good reasons and invested a lot in her training. A penalty and a demotion should be enough for this error, which was an admitted mistake, but without anyone being hurt.
Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s plan to have the province take over Toronto’s subways is nothing less than theft of Toronto’s most valuable infrastructure, paid for by Torontonians over the past 60 years, says Bob Kinnear, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, which represents 10,000 TTC workers.
“It would be a financial disaster for the TTC,” says Kinnear. “The subway is the only profitable part of our transit system and it supports the bus and streetcar surface routes that feed into it.
“Take away the subway revenue without giving it back to the TTC and you would either lose over a hundred surface routes or have to increase bus and streetcar fares to outrageous levels. It would be the end of the TTC. Hundreds of thousands who rely on surface vehicles would be stranded.”
Kinnear also questioned Hudak’s promise that taking over all rail transit and major highways wouldn’t cost taxpayers a cent, which means the money would have to come from the private sector.
“This sounds like Rob Ford’s ridiculous promise that the completion of the Sheppard subway would be financed entirely by business,” said Kinnear. “We haven’t seen a nickel of that mythical money and neither would we under Hudak’s plan. Privatization of urban transit simply doesn’t work unless it is accompanied by large taxpayer subsidies, as in York Region, where public subsidies are an astonishing $5.11 per ride, most of which goes to the European-based companies that run the system.”
In Toronto, public subsidies of the TTC are about 90 cents per ride.
“No one who uses transit in Toronto should vote for Hudak,” says Kinnear. “He either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he is channeling Mike Harris, who hated and financially crippled Toronto. In fact, it was Harris who filled in the partially-completed Eglinton subway in the 1995. Had it not been for that pointless false economy, we would have had a rapid transit system from Eglinton West to the airport years ago.
“As for the 96,000 jobs Hudak’s plan would supposedly create, I can’t wait to see how that number was arrived at because it makes no sense,” says Kinnear. “It is more than seven times the number of people who now run the TTC, including management. Even if you count all the construction jobs from the proposed East-West relief line, you don’t come anywhere close to 96,000.
“Hudak might have been a competent manager at Wal-Mart but we can’t afford to let him anywhere near our transit system.”
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