Watch: Make Every Day Labour Day

As we prepare to celebrate another Labour Day, let’s remember it has never been more important than now to stand in solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers in the Canadian labour movement. The rights workers enjoy today came through hard work, which we can never take for granted. We need to protect our rights and keep fighting for fair benefits and wages, and safer working conditions. Each day, let’s recognize all we’ve accomplished together and recommit ourselves to improving workers’ lives. By doing this, we’ll make every day Labour Day.

Watch and share this video created by ATU Local 113:


Now it is time to take action. Come together with your Sisters and Brothers at this year’s Labour Day Parade on Monday, September 3 to show that when we work together, we win. We’ll be meeting no later than 9:15 AM on Queen Street West (Southside) to York Street from York Street South to Richmond Street West, find more details in our calendar of events.

ATU Local 113 Supports Toronto City Council Decision to Fight Doug Ford in Court

Toronto City Council voted today in favour of legal action to stop Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s reckless scheme to diminish local democracy in the middle of the civic election campaign.

“Make no mistake about it – Doug Ford’s plan to slash the size of Toronto City Council in half is nothing more than an abuse of power and an assault on our local democracy,” said Frank Grimaldi, ATU Local 113 President.

“Toronto’s hardworking public transit workers support city hall’s decision to fight Doug Ford’s reckless scheme in court. Along with cutting council’s influence, Torontonians should worry that Doug Ford’s plot includes taking over public transit in Toronto, as we have already seen with him wanting to upload the TTC subway system from Torontonians. With Doug Ford at the wheel of public transit planning, Toronto can expect less service, a higher risk of privatization and more delays in building public transit where the city needs it most,” said Frank Grimaldi.

To get involved in the fight to save local democracy in Toronto, contact us at

Read: Doug Ford’s loopy plans to take over the TTC

Read and share TTCriders‘ Shelagh Pizey-Allen and former New Democrat Member of Parliament Mike Sullivan’s article in NOW Magazine about Doug Ford’s plan to take over the TTC.

Doug Ford’s loopy plans to take over the TTC

Doug Ford says he intends to slash the size of Toronto city council in half in the name of “efficiencies.”

But there’s another reason for Ford’s enthusiasm to squash council’s influence: his plot to take over public transit in Toronto.

And like his shock and awe to reshape Toronto’s political system, Ford’s transit plans will mean less democratic control of the TTC, a public service that millions of people depend on every day.

Weeks before the provincial election, city council voted 30-6 to keep the TTC publicly owned, operated and maintained. The vote was in response to the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Keep Transit Public campaign, which was launched over concerns of “years of creeping privatization by the province and Metrolinx.”

Ford, on the other hand, campaigned on a plan to break up the TTC and have the province take control of subways. He also campaigned on building subways in Scarborough.

Let’s forget for a moment that the estimated cost for the single-stop subway in Scarborough championed by Ford when he was a city councillor (and when his brother Rob was mayor of Toronto) is based on only five per cent of its design (the 30 per cent design cost won’t be released until 2019). Never mind that taxpayers are already paying a surcharge on their property tax bill for the cost to switch to a one-stop Scarborough subway from the original plan to build a seven-stop LRT.

Ford isn’t just talking about one subway stop anymore. He’s promising to “close the Sheppard loop”and build a three-stop Scarborough subway, and even a subway to Pickering.

Whatever the premier’s fantasy map, new projects will need to go through a design and assessment process. Ford’s whims would cost untold billions and are years away, if they get built at all.

It’s clear that the new government is less focused on building rapid transit where residents need it the most, than it is on fundamentally changing how our public transit system is governed.

Ford’s rationale for absorbing the TTC is that the provincial government can make dollars stretch further through its ability to amortize expensive assets, a power the city lacks. This plan, however, isn’t likely to deliver the funding the TTC needs.

As transit expert Steve Munro has pointed out, it’s not clear which level of government will be responsible for paying to operate subway lines under Ford’s plan. Contrary to popular belief, the subway system doesn’t break even, especially on lines with low ridership like Sheppard. The PCs’ plan to provide $160 million per year for TTC maintenance and capital repairs remains “woefully inadequate,” Munro says.

Giving the province control over the TTC could be a repeat of Hydro One, with the sale of public assets to fund new infrastructure, while the public pays the price with higher fares.

Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, has already mused about charging extra to use the subway should the TTC come under its control. Is this what will happen when the province or a private operator takes over?

With Metrolinx at the helm, the scenario of privatization and higher fares is not an unlikely one. All of the agency’s LRT lines are being built through private-public partnerships.

With Metrolinx at the helm, the scenario of privatization and higher fares is not unlikely. All of the agency’s LRT lines are being built through a private-public partnership.

Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the company building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, filed a lawsuit in July against Metrolinx to compensate it for delays in the $5.3-billion, 25-station project. The project is supposed to be completed in 2020 and now is scheduled to be operational in 2021.

This legal battle shatters the political rhetoric about P3s keeping costs down by allowing private contractors to absorb the financial risk. Governments do not fully understand the risks they transfer to private companies and fail to appreciate differences in quality provided by rival bidders because procurement decisions are driven by price.

Ford has yet to appoint a new Metrolinx chair after the resignation of Robert Prichard, but when he does it’s unlikely to change the lack of transparency at the agency. Metrolinx does not have open board meetings or any elected officials on its board. A fight over public transit looms.

Join ATU Local 113 to Protect Democracy in Toronto on Aug 2

Ontario Premier Doug Ford claims his government is “For The People,” yet he introduced Bill 5 – a direct attack on our democracy. If passed, the so-called “Better Local Government Act” will slash Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 members with no consultation, putting the services and representation Torontonians rely on at risk.

Together, alongside other labour unions, community activists and the concerned public, we will send Premier Ford a powerful message: the people have the power! Join your ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers on Thursday, August 2 to pack the public gallery at Question Period as Premier Ford and his cabinet answer to the people of Ontario on this dangerous legislation.

TIME: 9:45 a.m. arrival (Question Period begin at approximately 10:30 a.m.)
DATE: Tomorrow, Thursday August 2, 2018
LOCATION: Lower South entrance (the ramp just west of the main entrance)
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
111 Wellesley Street West
M7A 1A5
DETAILS: You will need Government-issued photo identification.

Following, attendees are invited to participate in a news conference with Ontario New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath as she calls for the withdrawal of Bill 5.

Immediate Actions to Stop Premier Doug Ford’s Attack on Toronto

The Toronto & York Region Labour Council shares how we can all take immediate action to stop Premier Doug Ford’s ruthless attack on Toronto.


Never in Canadian history has a politician tried to highjack democracy by changing rules in the middle of an election. If the Conservatives get away with this, there will be no restraints on other attacks on workers’ rights, pensions, labour law, public services, education….

If you don’t want Ontario’s government to mirror Donald Trump’s behaviour, the time to act is NOW!

The next few days are crucial! YOU CAN…

The people of Toronto saw nothing but chaos when the Fords ran City Hall, or when the Conservative ran the province last time. Cancelled transit lines, boarded up housing and crumbling schools are the legacy of that experience. We cannot afford four more years of chaos in Toronto or Ontario.

This is important – speak out & protect your Toronto!

Read: Labour Council Condemns Doug Ford’s Attack on Toronto

Read the Toronto & York Region Labour Council statement condemning Premier Doug Ford’s attack on Toronto.


Premier Ford’s bombshell announcement that he will hijack the Toronto election and unilaterally slash Council representation is a deeply disturbing indication of how Ontario will be run over the next four years. With no notice and no consultation, Doug Ford has decided to cut the Council to 25 seats from the current number of 47. This is not how governments acting “for the people” conduct themselves. At stake are the vital services that are provided to working families and local communities, and programs that affect the quality of life of all of Torontonians.

This deliberate interference in an election that is already underway is unprecedented in Ontario history. It shows the same contempt for democracy that marked the Mike Harris regime the last time Conservatives ran the province. This move is driven not by a pursuit of savings, but by shadowy special interests that want to reduce accountability so they can profit from the resources of our city. They are looking to silence the voices of residents at city hall by reducing representation. And behind it will be a drive to privatize services and sell off city assets.

The people of Toronto saw nothing but chaos and global ridicule when the Fords ran City Hall. They scrapped transit plans and cut services, outsourced jobs and targeted libraries for closure. We are now seeing how that same chaos will be imposed from Doug Ford at Queen’s Park. Ford ran and lost his bid to be Mayor, and to many this surprise attack smacks of a revenge agenda as well as dirty politics. It seems we are heading into four years of Trump-like rule, where facts and due process are either ignored or worse.

The claim of savings equals less than $3 per person – a insulting price to pay for less access to the elected Councillor in a ward that will be many time larger than in any other city in the province. There is no fairness anywhere in this plan – just a targeting of Toronto’s progressive policies that have been won through hard work and diligent decision-making. Last time the Conservatives took over this city they dumped billions of costs on the property taxpayers. It took years to recover – in fact we are still paying for those destructive decisions that were masked by simple slogans and mean-spirited ideology. Crumbling schools, cancelled transit lines and boarded up housing are the legacy of that experience. We cannot afford four more years of chaos in Toronto or Ontario.

ATU Local 113 Congratulates John Di Nino on his Election as ATU Canada President

ATU Local 113 congratulates John Di Nino, Executive Board member – Maintenance, on his election as ATU Canada President at the annual convention in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Brother Di Nino was elected alongside a strong ATU Canada board – well-positioned to advocate together with Local 113 on pressing issues for Toronto’s transit system. We look forward to continue the work John has led during his time on the Local 113 Executive Board regarding ongoing contract negotiations and advocacy with the municipal and provincial governments to Keep Transit Public.

Congratulations, Brother!

In the News: TTC chair Josh Colle Leaving Politics

TTC chair Josh Colle leaving politics — and his father is seeking his council seat (Toronto Star, July 25, Ben Spurr and David Rider)

TTC chair Josh Colle made the surprise announcement Wednesday morning he’s leaving politics after eight eventful years on Toronto City Council.

Hours later, that news was followed by another surprise: His father is running to replace him.

Josh Colle, who has served as the representative for Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence since 2010 and as Toronto Transit Commission chair since 2014, broke the news he won’t seek re-election at a news conference at City Hall — flanked by his three young sons and council ally Mayor John Tory.

The 45-year-old councillor told reporters he had decided to spend more time with his family and planned to take a job in the private sector.

“It has been my great privilege to serve the residents of Ward 15 over the last eight years, and I’m extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished in my time at City Hall and at the TTC,” he said.

He cited as his accomplishments: Enhancements to bus and streetcar service, the opening of the $3.2-billion Spadina subway extension, and the introduction of the policy allowing children 12 and younger to ride free.

Roughly five hours after Josh Colle spoke, Mike Colle, a former municipal councillor and longtime Liberal MPP, quietly arrived at City Hall and registered for the race his son had just vacated.

The younger Colle had made no mention of the impending father-son switch at his news conference.

Mike Colle, 73, said in an interview Wednesday that Josh had made the decision to bow out of the race of his own accord. He said he only decided to run at the city level when his son asked him.

According to Mike, he initially hesitated, in part because only a few weeks have passed since he was narrowly defeated in the June provincial election in Eglinton-Lawrence.

That defeat ended his 23-year run as a midtown MPP.

He said he asked himself: “Do I want to get back into this thing?”

But he ultimately decided to enter the ring because “there’s too many things that I care deeply about (in the community) that I don’t want to see walked away from.”

Political dynasties are not uncommon in Canadian politics, but Mike Colle acknowledged he couldn’t think of an instance in which a father took over for his son.

He rejected the suggestion the last-minute swap, which came two days before the deadline for candidates to register, amounted to a unique form of nepotism.

“All I say to that is, I just ended up getting 19,000 votes in the provincial election,” he said.

“People know my commitment to issues in this community, and in the city, and in the province. That’s what I’ll let people judge me on.”

Mike Colle, who also served as TTC chair in the early 1990s when he was a Metro councillor, said if elected this fall his priorities would be seeing the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Lawrence Heights revitalization through to completion, as well as preserving the Columbus Centre, a cultural and community hub in North York.

“I’ve fought many battles, and I’ve got a few more to fight,” he said.

Josh Colle’s withdrawal was unexpected because the popular centrist two-term councillor registered a month ago to run in the upcoming Oct. 22 municipal election.

He had been considered a clear favourite for re-election in the new Ward 13, which has been redrawn due to Toronto moving to a new 47-ward model.

He told reporters Wednesday he truly had intended to run this fall but after discussions with his family he reconsidered.

He said he had a position in the private sector lined up, but could not speak about it publicly. He didn’t rule out the possibility of one day returning to public service.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Oleksandr Bomshteyn was the only other candidate signed up to run in Ward 13. The registration deadline is 2 p.m. Friday.

Bomshteyn, who owns a web development company, said in an interview he hopes to bring “positive change” to City Hall, including using Toronto’s “booming” IT sector to modernize municipal government.

But as scrutiny turned on Bomshteyn in the wake of the younger Colle’s announcement, several social media posts the rookie council candidate has made concerning Muslims drew criticism.

In 2017, Bomshteyn responded to a post from Councillor Josh Matlow that condemned “anti-Semitism & Islamophobia” by saying: “Except fear of Islam is a logical fear hence not a phobia.”

Asked why it would be logical to fear an entire religion, Bomshteyn said: “I have Muslim friends. I have nothing against the regular Muslim person out there.”

He said that “85 per cent” of Muslims are “very peaceful, law-abiding citizens.” Asked where he got that figure from, he said: “That’s a quote I’ve seen somewhere.”