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The Moment: when Karen Stintz went rogue and defeated Rob Ford on the transit vote

The Moment: Stintz Goes Rogue

(Image: Christopher Wahl)

February 8, 12:33 p.m. When Karen Stintz called for a special meeting of council to resuscitate the transit plan that Rob Ford had spent considerable political capital trying to scrap, she was risking career suicide. After seven years of being sidelined by David Miller’s administration, Stintz, as chair of the TTC, was finally in a position of power. Ford expected her to be his voice on the commission, and he wanted a subway—even though his plan would reach less of the city and cost about a billion dollars more than Stintz’s light-rail alternative. Remarkably, her motion passed, 25-18. The councillor gamely insisted that the plan would be a win for everyone, including the mayor. Nobody believed that last part. It was a humiliating defeat for Ford. The apoplectic mayor dismissed the vote as irrelevant (it wasn’t), accused Stintz of backstabbing and axed Gary Webster, the TTC’s chief general manager. “Here comes Mayor Stintz,” someone quipped as she approached the cameras outside council chambers. Stintz cracked a smile and launched into her talking points, basking in the prophecy.