April 23rd, 2020

Ontario can stop Toronto transit layoffs with support for municipalities: NDP

QUEEN’S PARK — Jessica Bell, Ontario NDP Transit critic, released the following statement in response to news of the layoff of 1,200 TTC workers in Toronto due to COVID-19:

“Right now, transit workers are putting themselves at risk every day during the pandemic so that people who rely on transit to get around can continue to make essential trips to get to frontline jobs in health care and pick up necessities like groceries and medication. We should be thanking transit workers for performing this vital service, not handing out pink slips — but municipalities need help from the province.

Fare box revenue is down, and moving public employees off of paycheques and onto the Canada Emergency Response Benefit doesn’t do anyone good. That’s why the NDP asked the minister of transportation weeks ago to help municipalities cover the losses local transit agencies are seeing.

The NDP continues to urge the province to throw municipalities a lifeline. If we don’t act soon, transit agencies may struggle to maintain the essential service they provide and stay on top of the sanitization standards that are so important to preventing the spread of COVID-19.”