Wed, 2009-12-16

December 16, 2009

A public poll commissioned by Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union found that four out of five City of Toronto residents approve the idea of giving free public transit service on the TTC to Canadian veterans of World War II and the Korean War.

“We’re not surprised but we’re gratified at the huge public support for our proposal,” said Local 113 President Bob Kinnear.

Kinnear had advocated the free service for vets at the November meeting of the Toronto Transit Commission. The Commissioners will consider the proposal at its January 2010 meeting.

The poll asked 497 Toronto residents if they supported free TTC service for the vets. 80.7 per cent indicated their agreement with this idea. 11.7 per cent disagreed and 7.7 per cent were not sure or had no opinion. The poll, conducted by Toronto-based Public Polling, an automated phone survey company, is accurate to within 4.4 per cent 19 times out of 20.

“We hope this poll assists the Commissioners in making a favourable decision for vets on this matter,” said Kinnear. “It is obviously not a permanent liability because all these vets are over 70 years old. It’s about time we gave this small gesture of thanks for their service to those who are still able to take the TTC.

“We were also pleased to learn from the poll that young people were as likely as older respondents to favour the free TTC service for vets. It speaks well of them that they recognize the value of the sacrifices made by their grandparents’ generation.”

In Ontario, the cities of Windsor, Guelph and Peterborough currently provide free transit for Canadian World War II and Korean War veterans. It is not known how many such veterans live in Toronto.

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