Toronto Board of Trade

Toronto Board of Trade

December 01, 2006 11:57 ET

TIME TO MAKE THE BETTER WAY BETTER

Toronto Board of Trade calls for independent experts on TTC board

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 1, 2006) - The Toronto Board of Trade today called on Mayor David Miller and the new City Council to reassess the governance structure for the Toronto Transit Commission, saying the transit agency's board needs independent expert citizens on its roster.

"The Mayor is a recognized champion of public transit and should be applauded for winning new funding for the TTC," says Board of Trade Chair Becky McKinnon, "Now, we have to make sure the TTC board has the abilities and scope to use that funding effectively and meet the enormous challenges facing our transit system. It's time to make the better way better."

The Board is calling on Council to appoint an independent task force to study transit board governance and report by the end of next year. In the meantime, the Board recommends appointing an interim Commission for no more than 18 months with nine members, including three private citizens with expertise in areas such as transit planning and operations.

"The TTC appears to be the only Toronto board or agency that doesn't have citizen members," notes McKinnon, "Other transit agencies in comparable cities use mixed boards with a broader range of expertise to help them better develop strategic plans and policies. It would seem to make sense for the TTC to enjoy the same advantages."

McKinnon points out that this is a good time to ask how TTC governance can be improved. With the new City of Toronto Act in place, the City's boards and agencies will be coming under the microscope. More importantly, recent events such as the controversial subway car purchases and a labour disruption have eroded faith in the TTC's governance and decision-making.

In a letter to the Mayor and an interim policy submission (available at www.bot.com/policy) to the City today, the Board also supports the Mayor's ongoing efforts to improve service, promote ridership and obtain additional federal and provincial transit funding. The TTC will need $3.3 billion over the next five years simply to maintain a state of good repair.

The Toronto Board of Trade is the champion of a competitive and vibrant Toronto with a mandate to serve, represent and unite the city's business community. Founded in 1845, Canada's largest chamber of commerce operates at five locations across Toronto. Further information about Board events, policies, advocacy and products is available on its website at www.bot.com. Commentary from Board executives can be found on the Board Blog at www.bot.com/blog. /For further information: www.bot.com/media/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Glen Stone, Public Affairs Manager, Toronto Board of Trade
    Primary Phone: 416-862-4565
    E-mail: gstone@bot.com