Clerk checks legitimacy of transit petitions
Published Tuesday, March 20, 2012 9:47PM EDT
The city clerk is checking into the legitimacy of pro-light-rail petitions presented by some councillors at a special meeting held last month to vote on the Eglinton LRT line.
The move comes one day before another major vote Wednesday, where councilliors will decide whether to use $1 billion allocated by the provincial government to build a light-rail transit line east along Sheppard Avenue, as was recommended in a report to council released Friday.
Mayor Rob Ford continues to urge council to approve a subway extension in Wednesday's vote, even though the $1 billion will only pay for two or three more stations.
The petitions in question come from the meeting held on Feb. 8 where some councillors who supported an LRT plan along Eglinton Avenue, including Glen De Baeremaker, Joe Mihevc, Sarah Doucette and Josh Matlow, presented petitions from residents in their wards in favour of the LRT option.
CTV News has learned that the city clerk is looking into the legitimacy of these petitions.
Some of the petitions are informal. The people who signed them may not have known that their personal information, including addresses and phone numbers, would be made public.
Some of the petitions are nearly blank, others are from previous years, or appear to be collected by the Toronto Environmental Alliance, an outside organization.
Deputy mayor Doug Holyday said he was displeased by the findings that the petitions may not be legitimate.
"You'd like to know that petitions are genuine, you'd like to know they're not just trumped up by somebody," Holyday said.
TTC chair Karen Stintz suggested that the petitions may not affect the Wednesday vote.
"It could very well be that in the zeal of getting information and petitions to council that there was some duplication, or some dated petitions and I expect the clerk will look into that and rule accordingly, but whether it's relevant for tomorrow's vote is a different matter," Stintz said.
Coun. Matlow, who presented one of the petitions in question, said they are important for the message they send. The particular details about the petitions aren't as important.
"There will be some who disagree with the message in the petitions, who will make a big deal about it. That's politics," Matlow said.
With files from Natalie Johnson