City Councillor Howard Moscoe was the subject of a Toronto Transit Commission meeting Wednesday, in which members debated a motion of non-confidence in his role as chairman.
The motion was put forward following a recent day-long TTC strike that brought the city to a halt and left hundreds of thousands of commuters without a way to work.
The transit commission’s General Manager Rick Ducharme resigned following that labour action, and it was believed tension with Moscoe was to blame for his decision to walk.
Shortly thereafter fellow City Councillor Bill Saundercook and about five other councillors tabled the non-confidence motion against Moscoe, claiming the last three TTC general managers have quit over what some felt was political interference.
“He can no longer effectively do his job as chairman,” Counc. Denzil Minnan-Wong (Don Valley East) said Wednesday. “Frankly, right now, based on his conduct, the chair of the transit commission is damaged goods, and you need a new chair.”
Mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield echoed that sentiment.
“The confidence of the city in the TTC, it has reached a point where the TTC is not operating the way it needs to,” she said.
There was also grumbling about the chairman’s involvement in a recent purchase of subway cars.
It would’ve taken five votes to unseat Moscoe but his opposition couldn’t muster the support and the vote was lost.
After the vote Councillor Mark Grimes gave his resignation, effective immediately, as a TTC commissioner.
“We’re going down a slippery slope and I want no part of it,” he said. “We have lost a good man in Rick Ducharme.”
Meanwhile, Moscoe also lead the fight to see Toronto city councillors receive a nine per cent pay increase. The raise would see councillors paid nearly $95,000 a year, and a council committee approved it Tuesday. The salary increase would also see the mayor’s pay rise to $156,000 from $147,856 – a 5.9 per cent pay increase.
The full council is voting on the proposal next week.
And though Mayor David Miller says a neutral third party suggested the raise, Pitfield called it a “money grab.”