Posts Tagged ‘karen stintz

Karen Stintz is dropping the gloves

- September 13th, 2013

TTC chair Karen Stintz went into the weekend taking a swipe at Transportation Minister Glen Murray.

As you’ll read in the Saturday Sun, Stintz is accusing the province a.k.a. Murray of derailing transit planning in Toronto when it comes to his Scarborough subway announcement (read her op-ed here).

Stintz told me Friday night she’s dropping the gloves now because Murray’s “go-it-alone announcement” has derailed discussions with the federal government for subway funding – the city needs around $660 million from the feds.

“I’ve got to fight for transit, got to fight for Scarborough,” Stintz said. “Minister Murray’s plan doesn’t make any transit sense.

“He’s acting like a bully, like he can bully his way through on a plan that doesn’t make any sense and I don’t understand why because he doesn’t need to do this.”

That’s pretty tough talk – particularly from someone who had a one-on-one meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne this week about the subway project.

We’ll see if it pays off with the Scarborough subway Stintz wants or hits the gas to a transit plan train wreck with the province.

Mayor Rob Ford’s subway victory speech

- September 5th, 2013

TS_20130904CR11

 

Mayor Rob Ford in Bridlewood Park on Wednesday night (Craig Robertson, Toronto Sun)

Hours after Transportation Minister Glen Murray announced a plan for a shorter Scarborough subway funded entirely by the provincial government, Mayor Rob Ford was at Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly’s community barbecue in Bridlewood Park. Ford took the opportunity at the barbecue to claim victory on subways and deliver a campaign-style speech to the crowd. Here’s what Ford said:

Thank you so much Mr. Deputy Mayor. You should be very proud to have a deputy mayor from Scarborough, folks.

As you know Doug Holyday got elected so the choice was mine, I looked at all 44 councillors at who would best represent the views of not just their area but all of Toronto. It was a no-brainer, folks, it was a no-brainer. Norm Kelly was head and shoulders above the rest. I appointed Norm Kelly as deputy mayor, second in command to running this city so congratulations Mr. Deputy Mayor. It is an honour to have you serving as deputy mayor and he’s no nonsense, he’s on to me constantly, non-stop of which I need and I appreciate that.

But even better news, better news today, folks, we’re getting subways in Scarborough!

And when everyone else was talking LRTs, LRTs, LRTs there was one person that said he’s not moving away from his vision of subways and that’s Rob Ford. 

I said to the chair of the TTC Karen Stintz “I want LRTs, LRTs, LRTs” – I said, “No Karen, you’re not getting LRTs, we’re getting subways.” 

I told the premier, Kathleen Wynne, she says “I want LRTs.” I said, “You’re not getting LRTs. We want subways in Scarborough.” We won that victory.

I told Metrolinx, we don’t want LRTs in Scarborough, we want subways, subways, subways. 

Promise made, promise kept. Thank you so much for the support out in Scarborough. 

I can’t wait until the next election. The election is Oct. 27 of next year. I really need your support, I know we can win it and we’re going to go another four years. 

So again folks, thank you so much for your support. I want to thank the new deputy mayor for being here, I want to thank you for inviting me.

Subways, subways, subways! Scarborough, Scarborough, Scarborooooough! 

All the best, God bless everybody, I’ll see you around, take care. 

 

 

Quotes of the day: Denzil tries to derail the Scarborough subway

- July 17th, 2013

TS_20130716DA23

 

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong – a member of Mayor Rob Ford’s own executive committee – emerged as the biggest and most quotable roadblock to the mayor’s subway push Tuesday.

Here’s a rundown of some of the shots Minnan-Wong fired at the subway report and its supporters:

 

“If this goes forward this proposal will end up biting this council in the ass and it will be hard and it will be deep.”

- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong unsuccessfully urging council to refer the subway report back to staff for further study and to confirm funding commitments from the federal government. Council rejected the delay Tuesday.

 

“The councillor has flip-flopped more than a boated fish.”

- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on TTC chair Karen Stintz and her support for subways, then LRTs, then subways, then LRTs and now the Scarborough subway extension.

 

“Fiscal conservatives (that support this) will have to turn in their membership cards … I think this is a vote-buying exercise and the facts aren’t in the report.” 

- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on the push for the Scarborough subway.

 

The long, long trail of quotes on the Scarborough subway

- July 16th, 2013

TS_20130711ED34

Toronto politicians’ rhetoric around subways has hardly followed a straight line in the last three years. Here’s a rundown of who has said what about subways and LRTs:
MAYOR ROB FORD
Ford has been fairly steady on the “subways, subways, subways” stance:
“People want subways, I think that debate is clear.”
–Mayor Rob Ford this week when asked about the looming subway debate.
“Obviously, we’re not going to agree. You don’t support subways, I support subways. You support LRTs, I do not support LRTs. You support streetcars, I do not support streetcars. Fine.”
– Ford to TTC chair Karen Stintz at council in May 2013.
“Thank you very much, actually I didn’t miss the debate. I actually voted for subways and I made a passionate speech about subways.”
– Ford on his Newstalk 1010 show in November 2012 after a caller accused him of missing a transit debate to coach football.
“I’m going to fight until the day I die for those subways and we will get subways.”
– Ford during an interview on CP24 in October 2012
“The people of this city have spoken loud and clear. They want subways, folks. They want subways, subways, subways.”
– Ford during the Sheppard subway vs. Sheppard LRT debate at council in March 2012.
“That whole meeting was irrelevant.”
– Ford after city council voted in February 2012 to revive most of the Transit City plan including the four LRT lines.
“I was elected on a mandate, I campaigned on subways, I made it quite clear that if I got elected that Transit City would be scrapped and I’m doing exactly what the voters asked me to do … People want subways in the city.”
-Ford in December 2010
TTC CHAIRMAN KAREN STINTZ
Stintz now supports extending the subway instead of building the Scarborough LRT to replace the Scarborough RT but her views on subways versus LRTs have varied at times:
“It is my hope that I can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the mayor and deliver on a commitment for a subway to Scarborough.”
– Stintz on Thursday, July 12, 2013.
“I stand by the transit plan council approved. We were asked to make a decision on our transit future, we made it.”
– Stintz in October 2012
“What we’ve learned from the last debate was there was a division between what the suburbs felt they were getting in terms of transit and what they believe the downtown core was getting in transit. We think it is very important that we bring the city together as one city.”
– Stintz in June 2012 as she rolled out the OneCity plan
“Do you normally build a subway to service gas stations?”
– Stintz makes a point when she asks TTC staff about the lack of development at Warden and Sheppard (and therefore the lack of need for a subway) during a transit debate in March 2012
“I now have a better understanding of the technology and a better appreciation of how important it is to spend scarce resources wisely to improve transit across the city. I can also tell you that I support subways and support their construction. Our challenge is finding the resources to meet all our transit needs.”
-Stintz in an interview with the Sun in March 2012 on why she supports LRTs but once support subways
“This is a vote. We’ll get past it. We’re one city. We need to move forward together.”
– Stintz on whether she could work with Mayor Rob Ford after the Sheppard subway vote in March 2012.
“We have funding in place for those four plans.”
– Stintz in February 2012 on why council should revive the four Transit City LRTs plans including the Scarborough LRT
” Part of the discussions have been that having a Sheppard subway is a key campaign commitment and important for the city but equally important to Sheppard is Eglinton and so we need to figure out how we are going to do both”
– Stintz in January 2011
“Had we taken that (LRT) approach on Yonge St., we wouldn’t be the city we are today. From a long-term city-building perspective, (Sheppard) really should be a subway, as should the Eglinton and Scarborough lines. I think that we are taking a short-sighted approach to how we’re going to use this investment to benefit the city.”
– Stintz arguing the planned LRT lines should be subways in 2009
COUNCILLOR GLENN DE BAEREMAEKER
The Scarborough councillor once raved about LRTs but has since come over to the subway side:
“We asked the provincial government to consider upgrading the LRT line to a full-fledged subway. In the end, when the dust settles, Scarborough is going to get its subway.”
– De Baeremaeker in June 2013
“You cannot have taxation without transportation … This is the right subway at the right location at the right price.”
– De Baeremaeker on the Scarborough subway expansion at council in May 2013
“I want to keep politics out of this, what I want to do as a Scarborough councillor is make sure Scarborough gets a subway.”
– De Baeremaeker in June 2012 as he rolled out the OneCity plan that included the Bloor-Danforth extension
“We don’t have LRT vehicles in the city of Toronto but dammit we are going to bring them here today with this vote and you know what LRTs are sleek, beautiful, powerful, reliable machines.”
– De Baeremaeker making the case for LRTs at council in March 2012
SCARBOROUGH-GUILDWOOD LIBERAL CANDIDATE MITZIE HUNTER
During her stint at CivicAction Hunter supported the LRT plan but she’s since come out cheering for subways on the campaign trail:
“I want to work with Scarborough residents and develop solutions to tackle the tough issues of employment, housing, and transit. Only the Ontario Liberals have serious plans to improve transit for all Scarborough residents.”
– Mitzie Hunter in a Liberal campaign press release Thursday, July 12, 2013
“The LRT option is the choice for the ridership, for the funds that are available, and also for timeframe in terms of the impact on the community and for equity issues as well -bringing rapid transit to more people.”
– Hunter in the National Post on March 17, 2012
TRANSPORTATION MINISTER GLEN MURRAY/PREDECESSOR BOB CHIARELLI
The Liberal Transportation Ministers were OK with LRTs until recently:
“I’m not really fussed if it is a subway or an LRT … The city needs to stand up and not let the people of Scarborough be second-class citizens. We need to give Scarborough a sufficient level of transit.”
–Transportation Minister Glenn Murray on July 11, 2013.
“I’ve said this several times now –I want to be very clear so no one misunderstands me: We have 15 projects, we’re not revisiting those projects; we’re continuing to build those projects.”
– Glen Murray in May 2013.
“The train has left the station. Toronto city council has voted overwhelmingly to support the Metrolinx plan and we already have shovels in the ground. It’s clear that Tim Hudak’s platform is totally off the rails.”
–Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli in October 2012 in response to PC leader Tim Hudak’s subway plan

Focus on buses not bikes: Denzil Minnan-Wong to TTC chair Karen Stintz

- May 7th, 2013

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong

Public Works chair Denzil Minnan-Wong testing the Sherbourne St. separated bike lanes (Toronto Sun file photo)

“The TTC has enough problems making the buses run on time and trying to run a capital program. They shouldn’t be buying new businesses that are just going to be sucking more money out of the system.”

- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on TTC chair Karen Stintz floating the idea of the transit authority riding to the rescue of the BIXI Toronto bike-share program (full story here).

Stintz Wars: The Fords strike back

- April 28th, 2013

Mayor Rob Ford and Karen Stintz

“I know she’s in over her head.” 

- Mayor Rob Ford talking about TTC chair Karen Stintz during his Newstalk 1010 radio show Sunday. Ford was fuming on the air Sunday over the push by Stintz and other councillors to debate what transit revenue tools to endorse at the next council meeting. Stintz called Ford’s leadership into question last week after his executive committee voted to put the debate over revenue tools off (story here).

But the mayor wasn’t the only one who was taking shots at Stintz Sunday:

1297376418592_ORIGINAL

“I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her.”

- Councillor Doug Ford on Stintz during Sunday’s Ford brothers’ radio show. Ford also complained about Stintz going to a New York Yankees game while she was on a taxpayer-funded trip to New York City last week.

Did Karen Stintz just jump into the 2014 mayor’s race?

- April 24th, 2013

Karen Stintz

“The mayor had an obligation to bring it to council for full debate. I don’t believe he showed leadership in this matter and I don’t believe he has a vision for transit and I don’t believe he has a vision for this city and I think that’s unfortunate.” 

- TTC chair Karen Stintz reacting Wednesday to Mayor Rob Ford’s refusal to bring the transit revenue tools report to council ASAP (story here).

With language like that it sure sounds like she’s gearing up to run against Ford in 2014. So far, Stintz has been touted as a possible mayoral candidate but has yet to throw her hat in the ring.

But clearly the Fords – based on their language about Stintz in the recent past – are already expecting her to jump in the race (story here).

Stay tuned.

Happy Anniversary TTC CEO Andy Byford

- February 21st, 2013

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 9

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong took to Twitter Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the hiring of TTC CEO Andy Byford.

“Thanks to former Commissioners for making it happen!” Minnan-Wong tweeted. “Results show it was the best decision.”

What Minnan-Wong didn’t say was it is also the one-year anniversary of the sacking of former TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster.

Webster was dumped by those loyal to Mayor Rob Ford on the TTC commission – led by Minnan-Wong. Byford emerged from the closed-door meeting as Webster’s replacement.

“It is just no way to run a railway,” TTC chair Karen Stintz said following the 5 to 4 vote. “We’ve just turned arguably what should be the least political board and commission into the most political board and commission. It’s really quite interesting to me.”

Sources told the Sun at the time the meeting where Webster was fired and Byford was promoted was chaotic – some councillors shouted and swore at times during the in camera debate.

In a classic case of every City Hall action has an equal and opposite reaction, Minnan-Wong and the commissioners that dumped Webster ended up losing their spots on the TTC.

A few weeks later, Stintz led a revolt at council sacking those TTC commissioners who dumped Webster and locking in her position as chair until 2014.

Karen Stintz’s letter to commissioners

- January 30th, 2013

TTC chair Karen Stintz fired off a letter to TTC commissioners today in response to the ongoing controversy over the sole-source newsstand contract approved last week. Here’s Stintz’s letter:

Dear Commissioners:
By now, you should have received an “unconditional” offer from International News, submitted at 8:00 pm yesterday evening, with respect to operating the newsstands within the subway system.  I learned about this proposal at 9:45 PM last evening through the media, and reviewed it for the first time this morning.
While the proposal claims to be unconditional the terms of the proposal are very unclear, since the current leases do not expire until 2014 at the earliest.
I cannot explain why this proposal was not submitted over the course of the last four months when this issue was before the Commission; however, I believe that it should be reviewed in the interest of fairness and transparency.  I will be asking TTC staff to conduct a third-party review of the International News proposal against the Gateway proposal and to provide a briefing note to the Commissioners before the next meeting.  This third-party review should include commentary from legal and real-estate experts and will evaluate the terms of each proposal for value-for-money, the current relationship each tenant has with its respective landlord(s), and the customer-service impact on the TTC.
If you feel there are other components regarding this issue which need to be covered by such a third-party review please forward them to me.
I feel strongly that this review be conducted by a third-party since TTC staff have been inconsistent in their recommendations to the Commission.
I also believe very strongly that this issue has become a distraction to the good work that is going on at the TTC.  This needs to end.  Andy Byford agrees with me.
This review, I believe, will still demonstrate that the Tobmar/Gateway lease extension proposal is very solid. It makes enormous business sense to extend leases for good tenants when the rents are increased by 67%. This is not a sole-source contract.  It is a lease-extension and a very common practice throughout the TTC, the City and its Agency, Boards and Commissions where there is a landlord-tenant relationship.
For the record, the Mayor has yet to contact me on this issue.
Thank you.
Yours truly,
Karen Stintz
TTC Chair & City Councillor for
Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence
City of Toronto

Quotes of the Day – Transit tolls/taxes talk

- October 10th, 2012

Mayor Rob Ford at executive committee meeting

Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee dove into a debate on public consultation for taxes and tolls to pay for transit Tuesday (story here). Not surprisingly, there were several quotable moments from Ford and councillors during the debate.

Here are some of the highlights:

“I’ve always said to build transit in the city we have to get all three levels (of government) involved and the private sector. Until the federal and provincial government gets on board and we get the private sector on board I’m not going to sit around and just put a tax or a user fee on the backs of hardworking Torontonians.”
- Mayor Rob Ford

“That’s like asking which poison would you like to drink? Would you like the hemlock? Would you like the rat poison? … We should be asking them, would you like to take that poison?”
- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on transit funding consultation.

“If all we come back with is that we think the province should have a regional sales tax, then I think we’ve been doing our residents a disservice.”
- TTC chair Karen Stintz

“It will help Torontonians in every corner of this city. It is long past due that we’ve needed it. We are a generation behind.”
- Councillor Josh Matlow on the Downtown Relief Line.

“My community does not want to pay for somebody else’s thoughts and hopes.”
- Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti on transit taxes and tolls.

“This deal is like throwing a load of human feces on somebody’s lawn and then sending them a bill for the transportation costs in delivering it to their property.”

- Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti still livid an LRT is being planned for Finch Ave. W. in his ward.

“We haven’t approached them. We haven’t opened the doors. We haven’t welcomed (public-private partnerships).”
- Councillor Doug Ford lamenting the proposed taxes and tolls to fund transit.

“Public-private partnerships do not pay for transit. They finance transit and we need to pay it back.”
- TTC chair Karen Stintz