Karen Stintz mum on TTC chair gig

Ward 16’s councillor talks transit plans
But quiet on possible appointment to head transit commission
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 22)

Councillor Karen Stintz may be the next TTC chair.

Councillor Karen Stintz may be mum on whether she’ll be the next TTC chair, but she has plenty to say about transit.
The Ward 16 rep is rumoured to mayor-elect Rob Ford’s choice to replace outgoing TTC head Adam Giambrone.
And while Stintz has said she’d like to serve on the transit commission she’s not saying if the rumour she’ll be its next chair is true.
Coincidentally, Ford’s communications rep Adrienne Batra was meeting with Stintz this afternoon directly before the Town Crier sat down with Stintz in her city hall office.
The TTC is a challenging portfolio with no shortage of controversies and opportunities but Stintz says progress can be made on the problems of the past.
“We can make a difference and improvement in customer service,” said Stintz. “(TTC) effects people’s lives everyday and it effects how to get home on time, to work on time.”
She’d like to see cleaner stations, the implementation of the regional electronic fare PRESTO card and with it the re-examination of zone based fares. Plus that provincial investments are used to build a TTC system for both present and future needs. While Stintz says Torontonians can expect to see some changes to the existing Transit City plan, she is committed to the Eglinton LRT line which will run underground from Keele Street to Laird Drive.
“The Eglinton line does fit in with the vision spoke about, which is subways where possible. And the Eglinton line is mostly underground,” she said. “In my discussions with mayor-elect Rob Ford, he views (the Eglinton LRT) as an important line as well.”
Ford also campaigned on asking the province about making the TTC becoming an essential service which would take away the right of transit workers to strike. While riders who were stuck during the surprise April 2008 walkout have been pushing for it for the last two years, others have pointed out that it could result in higher labour costs as wage disputes will be settled by an arbitrator.
“We’ll make a decision at council whether to ask the province to declare the TTC an essential service,” she said.
Another issue close to her heart in is the vacant TTC lands at the southwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton.
The rezoning is in place, now the city needs to transfer any lands for sale to the city-agency Build Toronto.
All of Ford’s council committee and chair appointments will go to city council when it meets Dec. 7 and 8 for final approval. However, as the TTC has its own board it will be its member that elect the commission’s chair.
Stintz said the new mayor will likely make his choices known for key committee positions sometime this week.


15 responses to “Karen Stintz mum on TTC chair gig

  1. I didn’t expect you to comment. That wouldn’t be your style. I suggested the article since I thought it was honest journalism and the best reporting I’ve seen yet on the early days of the RF mayoralty. Most of what I’ve seen to date has been either sad, tepid or alarmist. EYE Magazine’s piece gives good insight into Stintz’s natural character. I won’t be writing to EYE as there is no need for me to do that.

    Josh Matlow is doing a great job of representing the views of his constituents and staying real. Of course, so was Stintz before she turned her back on constituents to further her own career.

    I haven’t seen Terry for months now, good to hear he’s ‘keeping his hand in’.

  2. “I joined the scrum around Stintz as she answered questions she could not possibly know the answers to about what the province would do and how labour negotiations would play out in the future. Rather than ask her about her to gaze into a crystal ball, I asked her why she hadn’t spoken on the motion. She looked at me as if I’d called her a bad name.?“I think I’ve been very vocal on this. We voted on this at the transit commission, I’ve spoken to the press. I think I’ve been very vocal.”

    “But here,” I said. “At council.”

    “I’ve been very vocal on this, I think I’ve made my position clear.”

    With that, her handler put a hand in front of her, said, “OK, that’s it” and ushered her away from the crowd in the other direction.”


    Kris, maybe you should read the whole article?

    • Peter, thanks for the info. I wasn’t at the scrum you talked about re: TTC essential services. I was at city hall writing on two other topics debated yesterday for the Town Crier for online stories. And I can’t comment on the EYE magazine article as again, I wasn’t there to hear what people said during the media scrum on the TTC issue. Perhaps you should write to them to see what they think of your concerns about Stintz and see what they say since they were at that media scrum. They’d be in a better position to comment as they were in the same room listening to the same interviews and Q&A.
      BTW, I saw your pal Terry Mills, who ran against Karen Stintz, at council yesterday. He came up to new councillor Josh Matlow, who I was interviewing, to offer him congratulations on his council speeches.

  3. So, what Stintz was before the Election might not actually be what she is for after the Election.
    You indicated above that she was for “it” but you don’t know now what “it” meant?
    Stintz sees herself as in training for higher office. She’s learning the professional politician ropes.

    • Peter, actually I was quite clear in all my responses to you on the question on what she supports now. Karen Stintz has indicated to me in 4 different interviews post-election that she is for the Eglinton LRT underground, which is what was approved and funded by the province as part of what people refer to as Transit City.
      If you want to know what Karen meant by Transit City before the election, the portion funded and approved by Metorlinx/province underground or the larger original plan the province delayed funding for, I suggest you ask her yourself. I can’t speak for Karen. I can only tell you what she told me post-election.
      I didn’t interview her about Transit City pre-election as other Town Crier reporters were writing about Transit City. Cheers.

  4. Maybe you could ask her Kris? I remember Stintz grandstanding with Miller in April at YE and doing the rounds with him again in August. Both times in support of TC.

    • Peter, I have asked Karen Stinz in four separate interviews since Oct. 25 if she supports Eglinton LRT proceeding and she does. The part that was approved and funded as part of Transit City is all underground. I am sure I will be interviewing her again about transit and I will ask her then if she supports TC as a whole, but TC as a whole (I think it was 8 lines) is not funded. The province pulled back $4 bil, so what we call Transit City is really the approved Metrolinx/provincial plans for Finch (in phase 2) Eglinton (underground), Scarborough RT and Sheppard. The other lines such as Don Mills, Jane, extension along Eglinton to the airport, etc are not funded by anyone.

  5. Kris, I believe Stintz stood alongside Miller in support of Transit City. Maybe you think she was only supporting Miller for the underground portion along Eglinton? If that is the case, was the LRT to start and end at the entrance and exit of the tunnel?

    I don’t think so. She was on a mission then to get the TTC job and she was blowing with the wind. The wind changed and so did Ward 16’s flip-flopper.

    Nobody can be happy the way things are administered down there at CH. I wasn’t happy the way TC was rolled out and I’m not happy now that it can all be rolled back. Nor do I think for a minute that Stintz has anybody’s best interests at heart unless they are dovetail into her own personal ambitions.

    • Peter,
      so if you aren’t happy with how Transit City was rolled out and not pleased with it being rolled back, what is your ultimate dream for transit in Toronto given the funding envelope of about $3.4 B over four years from the province and $300 mil from the feds?
      Also you are right TC was not just underground along Eglinton, but when the province delayed $4 billion in funding from the original $8 billion promised, Eglinton was scaled back by the province and Metrolinx. So the only portion funded by the province, currently, along Eglinton from Laird to Keele is all underground. The surface portions to the west and east were to be surface but when the province pulled half the funding the plan was scaled back. So that was already known when Councillor Karen Stintz, Mayor Rob Ford, etc were all campaigning. I can’t say if Councillor Stintz campaigned on the current, approved and funded underground Eglinton LRT plan or the original one that also included surface portions, but that old plan would require additional funding from somewhere.

  6. Stintz “says” she is for TC. You won’t be forgetting she’s an ambitious flip-flopper now, would you? Remember how she stated in your paper that she was for keeping the open space at YE and then bailed on that promise when she realised she’d need the likes of Riocan if she was going to run for Mayor?
    She will do Rob Ford’s bidding so long as she can get to dispense TTC air rights to her friends in the development business.

    • Hi Peter,
      We’ll see. Ford’s bidding might actually be underground LRTs along Eglinton, which Stintz is for as well. TTC general manager Gary Webster, Stintz and several other councillors have all said Ford may be for any transit not on surface routes, so subways and underground LRTs.
      So, so far in my interviews with Stintz since the election she stands by her support for Eglinton LRT underground.
      So you may be premature in your assumptions. Better to criticize when you have a reason to criticize, no? You are calling her a flip-flopper before it’s actually happened.

    • Peter,
      I forgot to ask. What would make you happy in terms of transit under a Ford administration? What is your dream for TTC?

  7. Hi Peter,
    when Ms. Stintz mentioned cleaner stations it was part of a customer service package not her main goal for the TTC.
    As far as her misspelling of Sheppard, I am not sure where you saw that quote and if it was written in a story by another reporter, the author may have gotten it wrong not Stintz.
    I have spoken to Karen Stintz three times since the election about the Metrolinx/Transit City plan for LRT on Eglinton and she is personally for it as she was before the election. That hasn’t changed.

  8. From public transportation for all, and a link to the airport, we’re going to get cleaner stations! Wow, the stranded at YE on their way to work will really appreciate that. “I couldn’t get on the train but it’s really clean down here.”

    I think Rob Ford”s team has done a nifty piece of politicking giving Stintz the TTC position. After she learns the correct spelling for “Shepperd” (sic) she’ll surely sink her Mayoral ambitions with platitudes, motherhood statements and rubber cleaning gloves.

    She campaigned with Miller for Transit City but that election promise vanished with the whiff of a career enhancing from Ford. She’s a shameless flip-flopper.

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