fire rick leary ttc ceo

Campaign to fire TTC CEO Rick Leary gaining momentum

TTC CEO Rick Leary is in the crosshairs of a new campaign to have him fired from the transit agency's top job, and hundreds have signed their names in support of the petition to oust the executive.

A petition addressed to the TTC Board on April 27 is quickly approaching its initial goal of 500 signatures from concerned locals who wish to see Leary removed from the position he has held since 2017.

In the campaign's mission statement, creator Jeff Nash doesn't mince words about the executive, saying, "since becoming CEO of the TTC in 2017, Rick Leary has by design or sheer incompetence taken what was a transit system that was the envy of every Canadian city and turned it into a national disgrace."

Nash points to frequent service suspensions and slow-speed zones that, while once a rarity, "now happen multiple times daily, affecting thousands of commuters with little to no information being passed on to customers."

The campaign questions Leary's leadership and flags recent issues for the transit agency, including the Line 3 derailment last summer, a split track switch at Museum station following nine consecutive weekends of maintenance, and the April fire that halted subway service in Etobicoke.

"As of yet, no one has been seriously injured or worse," the campaign reads, with a warning that "it's just a matter of time before that changes."

Passenger safety is also questioned, with the campaign citing the TTC's own lawyers claiming in court "that is unsafe for people to travel alone on the system."

Acknowledging that "funding for transit in Toronto is far from ideal," the campaign calls for new leadership to overcome current challenges.

The petition adds that "as we enter into an era where things need to be fixed before they break and labour negotiations with operators are already beginning to falter, we, the residents of Toronto and the only stakeholder of the TTC, need leadership."

"The only real way forward for our city and Transit System is to Terminate Rick Leary for cause," citing that cause as "gross negligence."

Leary climbed the Sunshine List this year with a salary of $562,326, a substantial increase from the $337,086 he earned as TTC CEO on his first year in the gig. This increase of over a quarter-million dollars in just a few years has included an over 21 per cent pay hike in 2021, and almost 19 per cent again in 2023.

He is currently the 63rd-highest-paid public-salaried employee in Ontario.

blogTO has contacted Jeff Nash for comment on the petition.

The TTC has declined to comment on this story.

Lead photo by

Rick Leary/LinkedIn|Jeremy Gilbert/Flickr

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