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Royson James on the political intrigue and backroom deals in the fight over Toronto transit

Toronto Star columnist Royson James writes the acrimonious transit spat the city is currently embroiled in is a mere squabble compared to a broader backroom plan to “emasculate” and “tame” the TTC. According to James—and his unnamed sources—Metrolinx, Queen’s Park, and the mayor’s office all want to oust TTC manager Gary Webster and to fire TTC chair Karen Stintz for failing to get rid of him (her recent campaign against Rob Ford’s transit proposal certainly couldn’t have helped her cause either). For some of the alleged co-conspirators, the end game is privatizing much of the transit commission, which they view as uncooperative, ineffective and generally impotent. James even offers that Metrolinx secretly prefers putting the Eglinton Crosstown underground, and that the regional agency is actually the one pushing that agenda forward behind the scenes. It seems, as James puts it, “while officials play nice in public, in private the knives come out.” Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »