It’s never been clearer: the Ontario government has a privatization agenda and it has set its sights on the TTC.

Last week at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek addressed the Economic Club of Canada on “enhancing transit in the province.” It cost almost $100 per person to hear the “government for the people” issue a directive to Metrolinx to apply “market-driven approaches” to all new and existing transit projects – including leveraging “third-party investment” through “new forms of partnerships.”

Later in the week, and days before the report is due to cabinet, the government finally released the Terms of Reference for their “Special Advisor” on the so-called TTC Subway upload. The first objective: to secure provincial ownership of the TTC subway network and other strategic transit/transportation assets in Toronto. The Minister has refused to clarify if he’ll try to takeover more of Toronto’s public transit system.

While the Minister says he is looking for “market driven approaches,” in reality, the province’s scheme will do nothing more than harm public transit by shattering Toronto’s integrated system, taking away local democratic control and paving the way for higher fares and privatized service, similar to what we see with Metrolinx and GO Transit. Premier Ford, hands off our subways! The TTC belongs to Toronto.

The only way to protect Toronto’s public transit is to keep it public – and increase funding – so it can be improved and expanded for riders. Torontonians concerned about their public transit system are encouraged to sign and share the petition to keep transit public.