To the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
As per your press conference yesterday, we at ATU Local 113 are pleased to take you up on your offer to assist us in addressing the public safety crisis on Toronto’s transit system.
Over the years, our Union has actively voiced our concerns about public safety issues on transit. As recently as April 2022, we proposed and successfully passed a motion through city council (the commissioners board) to improve public safety on the transit system. As you have seen, violence against transit workers and riders have continued to increase significantly, creating a culture of fear among the general public. It is clear that we are now at a breaking point and immediate and urgent actions must be taken.
On our part, we have taken action to survey our own members and found that an alarming 73% of participants have reported an incident of violence towards them on the job. No employee should feel endangered or threatened in their line of work, especially in a position like ours where we serve the interest of the general public in moving the city. We move Toronto, this is what we do.
We would like to work with you and the federal government to discuss our concerns and find solutions that really work for transit workers and transit users in Toronto. Actions like:
- An immediate and direct injection of much-needed emergency resources towards violence prevention, mental health relief, and addressing homelessness on the transit system.
- The request from the City of Toronto to the Government of Canada to amend subsection 269.01 of the Criminal Code to include all transit workers in these provisions, not just operators.
Notice of Motion, dated April 6, 2022