Photo: The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
Commuters get off the subway at Toronto's Union Station. Premier Dalton McGuinty says he's running out of patience with Toronto as its mayor battles with city council over transit plans. THE CANADIAN PRESS/J.P. Moczulski
Toronto's top transit manager has lost his job, an apparent casualty in the war between the mayor and city council over subway expansion.
A special Toronto Transit Commission meeting this afternoon had only one item on the agenda, a vote to buy out Gary Webster's contract and dismiss him.
Observers say Webster's job was on the chopping block because he didn't agree with Mayor Rob Ford's plan to build new subways.
The commission voted 5-to-4 to dismiss Webster and begin the search for a new general manager.
Earlier this month, Ford and his allies lost a crucial transit battle when council voted 25-18 in favour of TTC chairwoman Karen Stintz's proposal of light-rail transit, instead of a subway.
The mayor insisted the vote was meaningless because the province would still go ahead with his subway plan, but McGuinty has said he must respect council's decision on the future of the city's transit.
Councillors voted for a plan to put light-rail lines on Eglinton Avenue and Finch Avenue West, and to study a subway extension on Sheppard Avenue.
The province is awaiting the results of that study.
Premier Dalton McGuinty originally committed $8.15 billion in 2007 to a plan called Transit City, which called for more extensive light-rail on Eglinton, Sheppard, Finch and the Scarborough RT route. Transit City was almost entirely funded by the province, with the federal Conservatives chipping in $300 million.
But Ford declared his predecessor David Miller's cherished transit project dead as soon as he took office in 2010, saying there would be no more tracks down the middle of Toronto streets.
"Well you know there was a Plan A under mayor Miller, and then there was a Plan B under Mayor Ford and now we've been asked to consider a Plan C," McGuinty said Tuesday.
"So I can say that we're running out of patience, I think the people of Toronto are running out of patience."
Last March the premier and Ford announced a revamped, $12.6-billion transit project for the city that included light-rail and subway expansion.
The province vowed to contribute $8.4 billion to the plan.
Last week it was suspected Ford would take this action as part of his government by
temper tantrum. This guy is really strange and people are starting to understand
they elected a fool. Its a case of the village idiot is firmly in charge