TORONTO - A TTC bus ride apparently turned political Monday night.
A driver got on the loud speaker and told riders not to vote for Tim Hudak, according to a 27-year-old rider who contacted the Toronto Sun but did not wish to be publicly identified.
“The driver started warning us not to vote for Tim Hudak unless we wanted to go back to the Mike Harris days,” said the man, who works in the financial service industry.
The driver started by announcing the number of the bus was soon going to change, then reminded riders that there was an election coming up on Thursday.
Then, according to the rider, he started “warning” passengers about what could happen if Hudak won.
“The driver was telling us it would be a mistake to vote for him and that he was going to make a lot of cuts to services such as transit and education,” said the rider, who also filed a complaint with the TTC later that night.
He was on his way home from work on the 100A Flemingdon Park bus, from Broadview Station, which was packed with after-work transit riders. He said the driver’s rant started around 5:45 p.m.
TTC union head Bob Kinnear could not immediately confirm details of the rant, or even if it happened.
Kinnear did, however, defend the driver.
“What Hudak is proposing amounts to theft of one of the most valued assets of the city of Toronto and I would have no problem with one of our members conveying that message to people who are interested,” he said.
“I would say that the operator is obviously a well-versed person in the political landscape in recognizing how detrimental Tim Hudak would be to not only the TTC but to the city of Toronto.”
Kinnear also said Hudak has had no problem throwing accusations at unions about various things such as the manipulation of it’s members.
The TTC said an internal investigation will take place.
“All I can tell you at this point is that it is inappropriate for any TTC employee to make any political statement to customers about any candidate or party,” said Brad Ross, TTC's head of communications.
“TTC employees are prohibited from campaigning while on the job or in uniform.”