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Mayor criticizes TTC chair over Gateway Newstands deal

Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Coun. Doug Ford used a significant portion of their weekly radio talk show to criticize TTC chair Karen Stintz over a sole-sourced newsstand deal.

Meanwhile, a new poll suggests Stintz would beat Ford if she ran against him in the 2014 municipal election.

The TTC awarded a 15-year lease extension worth about $50-million to Gateway Newstands to continue running 65 outlets on TTC property. On their Sunday afternoon talk show, the Fords criticized Stintz for voting against TTC staff recommendations for competitive bids. They also claimed lobbyists were involved in the deal.

“Why didn’t she listen to staff? I called her and asked her for an explanation and I haven’t yet received a call back,” Mayor Ford said.

Stintz issued a statement on Sunday, saying she delivered her findings in October and again last week, with no response from Ford.

She also said no lobbyists were involved in the decision to award Gateway the contract.

Stintz said the TTC will get a 67 per cent increase in revenues from Gateway on top of a signing bonus of $1.5 million. The company also plans to undertake another $1.5 million in capital investments.

On their show, the Fords interviewed Sam Davis, the head of Gateway competitor International News, who said he could have offered a deal that would’ve saved the city $5 million. He also claims two other companies likely would’ve bid on the contract if the process was available.

“This is what happens from a person in my opinion that has never run a business in the entire lives chairing the TTC,” Coun. Ford said.

While Stintz and the Fords remain at odds over sole sourcing contracts, the results of a recent Forum Research poll published in the Toronto Star on Monday showed the mayor would face some steep competition in the race to keep his job next year.

“I plan to spend the next six years getting the job done,” he said Sunday.

According to the poll of 1,099 people conducted on Friday, NDP MP Olivia Chow, a former Toronto councillor, would beat Ford by 12 points in a mayoral election (52 per cent to 40 per cent). Former Progressive Conservative leader John Tory would beat Ford by a 12-point spread (48 per cent to 36 per cent). And Stintz would beat Ford by nine points (49 per cent to 40 per cent).

On Friday Ford won an appeal of a court decision that ordered him out of office.