Toronto city council has elected a new TTC board, after dissolving a commission that had had a majority of councillors who supported Mayor Rob Ford's transit plan.
The city's transit governing body was composed of nine councillors. It's now been replaced with one made up of seven councillors and four citizen members.
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Coun. Karen Stintz was brought back as TTC chair with a vote of 24 to 19.
Stintz had put forward the motion to disband the existing board, a move she said was needed to break a political deadlock she said was holding up transit expansion in Canada’s largest city.
"I know that this is not usual and I know that this is difficult but our commission isn’t functioning well," said Stintz. "The overwhelming desire of citizens of Toronto is to move forward with a transit plan."
Stintz’s motion passed 29 to 15. Immediately after it passed, the process of nominating new council members got underway and was completed by around 6:30 p.m.
A handful of council members were vying for the seven spots on the newly constituted TTC board.
The seven members elected are:
- Raymond Cho
- Karen Stintz
- John Parker
- Maria Augimeri
- Glenn De Baeremaeker
- Josh Colle
- Peter Milczyn
Monday's vote dismisses a transit commission that was controlled by councillors who backed Mayor Rob Ford and his preference to use $8.4 billion of provincial money to build underground transit instead of surface light-rail lines.
Coun. Doug Ford spoke to reporters after the vote, saying while he "respects the will of council," the matter of subways is not over.
"We aren't going to ruin the city with streetcars all up and down the streets," Ford said. "To the contrary, we'll have rallies in March and we'll see what the people of Toronto think about this."
Council voted on Feb. 8 to move ahead with the plan to add light rail lines on Finch Avenue West, while also going forward with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT development, but keeping its eastern stretch above ground.
Mayor Ford preferred to keep more of the Eglinton line underground. Monday's vote is the latest loss for Ford on the important transit file.
Coun. Michael Thompson had put forward an alternative to Stintz’s motion, calling for a transit commission composed of seven citizen members. His motion failed.
The citizen members on the new TTC board will be elected at a later date.