Toronto

Stintz sees no cause to remove TTC's Webster

TTC chair Karen Stintz says it's not clear to her why five TTC board members are looking to oust the transit system's chief general manager.
A special meeting is being held Tuesday about TTC "personnel matters." 1:52

TTC chair Karen Stintz says it's not clear to her as to why five TTC board members are looking to oust the transit system's chief general manager.

TTC chair Karen Stintz says there is no cause to remove TTC chief general manager Gary Webster from his job. (CBC)

A so-called "special meeting" is being held Tuesday to discuss a TTC "personnel matter," at the request of board members who reportedly want to remove TTC chief general manger Gary Webster from his position.

But Stintz told CBC News that Webster has performed admirably in his job and the five TTC commissioners who called for a meeting will need to explain their reasoning for a potential termination.

"There certainly isn’t cause to fire Gary Webster, so he’ll be paid out his full contract," Stintz said Monday.

"And certainly for the commissioners who feel it’s so important that this action be taken now, my question will be to them: Why is it so urgent and do we have the appropriate transition plan in place to make sure that the organization can continue to function?"

But Coun. Frank Di Giorgio, one of the five councillors and TTC commissioners who signed the petition, has indicated that Webster must go if he "isn’t going to work with us."

When speaking with CBC News last week, Di Giorgio also said that a number of items on the agenda deal with "a disharmony that has crept in the TTC and commissioners will use whatever authority we have to remove it."

Councillors Denzil Minnan-Wong, Cesar Palacio, Norm Kelly and Vincent Crisanti also signed the petition that triggered Tuesday’s meeting.

Former TTC chair Howard Moscoe says TTC chief general manager Gary Webster is an extremely competent and professional civil servant. (CBC)

Former TTC chair Howard Moscoe worked with Webster in the past, whom he describes as a dedicated professional who has been caught in the crosshairs of an administration that expects its civil servants to fall into line with what the mayor’s office wants.

"The message that goes out to every civil servant in Toronto is that if you don’t agree with Rob Ford, if you don’t bend to the way he wants things, you lose your job," said Moscoe.

Webster has worked for the TTC since 1975, and was appointed as the permanent chief general manager in June 2007.

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