Gary Webster TTC GM

The TTC may move to fire GM Gary Webster

The drama that surrounds Toronto's transit future was ratcheted up another notch this afternoon when the TTC notified the media that a special meeting of the Commission has been called for February 21 "to consider a personnel matter." Given the strained relationship between Mayor Rob Ford and TTC General Manager Gary Webster, speculation amongst city hall watchers that Ford's supporters on the Commission will move to fire Webster came fast and furious.

It's not the first time that such a possibility has been floated around city hall, but in light of the special transit meeting of February 8 — you know, the one in which Webster defended the prudence of pursuing a LRT-based transit strategy in favour of the mayor's underground vision — such an outcome seems more than likely at this point.

The councillors who signed the petition required to call the special meeting are Norm Kelly, Cesar Palacio, Vince Crisanti, Frank DiGiorgio and Denzil Minnan-Wong. Although comments made by Doug Ford following the special council meeting on transit have also led to speculation that the mayor would like to fire Karen Stintz, such a move would require the approval of city council. That's not the case for Webster.

It will cost a pretty penny to go through with this, though. The Star reports that "firing Webster could cost between $400,000 and $500,000 to buy out his contract." So for now we wait and see, but all signs indicate that Rob Ford plans on sending a very strong message to those who refuse to go along with his program.

Photo by Mariam Matti


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