THE MOON AND THE TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION
CASA LOMA/RUSSELL HILL SUBWAY ACCIDENT AUGUST 11th 1995
INQUEST DAY SIXTEEN - Thursday February 1st 1996
BOMBS FALLING EVERYWHERE
After the excitement of yesterday, there was an in-camera session which started at 9:30 a.m. which was interrupted around 10:45 when Mr. Punter made the announcement to the public that the Inquest would reconvene in the afternoon.
Mr. John LaForce of Philadelphia was on the stand for cross examination by the remaining counsel. Mr. LaForce was asked to comment on Mr. Cedarburg's report and felt there was no connection to the accident. He revealed that his appearance in Toronto was as a direct result of his knowing Mr. Gunn. He wanted the record to show that Mr. Gunn had been responsible for the creation of the Transit Police in Philadelphia.
Mr. LaForce did not offer any new evidence today. Despite attempts by counsel, he would not comment on the "bomb" dropped by Mr. Punter yesterday. The bomb is a document produced by two TTC employees Moe Blakey and Al Robinson called the Subway Improvement Project. From what was revealed of the report, it sounded like something I wrote!! Counsel used Mr. LaForce as an excuse to get as much of the report into the record as they could by getting him to comment. Mr. LaForce however would not be drawn in as he had no knowledge of the areas covered in the report.
As the day's session was about to close, Mr. David Hammond, General Counsel of the TTC, appeared in court and handed Mr. Leck a large blue binder which Mr. Leck then held up in a triumphant fashion declaring that he had his own bomb. Dr. Huxter asked if it could be called a reverse bomb!!. This "bomb" was evidence that the police had been handed a copy of the Subway Improvement Project report at least a month ago and any accusations that the TTC was obstructing the investigation are groundless. Mr. Punter and the Punter Youth were thrown into a complete state of disarray as a result of this revelation.
1) The Subway Improvement Project was copied and left "lying around" such that even I, who has tried not to see anything unless it has been properly entered into evidence in order to maintain an aloof position, was able to peruse. Large portions of this document have been entered into evidence as described. Some of which is more than disturbing. For example, it appears that there are 13 minutes running time allowed between Wilson and St. Clair West and yet this piece can be done in 8 minutes without too much effort. It is my experience in the years I have been associated with the subway that Local 113 has tried valiantly to have the round trip time on both lines increased to a point where we are not offering a service any longer. The delays experienced by passengers as we hang around waiting for things like the Intermediate Point Headway Control system to click over have been commented on and complained about by the public but have been brushed off. Evidence from this report of this sort (5 extra minutes on an 8 minute run time) is all the evidence most people will require to indicate our management of the subway is in serious trouble. The report is replete with problems associated with many aspects of the Subway operation and the way in which we treat our employees who operate in the subway. As this evidence is properly entered and discussed, which it will be next week when the authors are called to the stand, these notes will reflect the revelations. Stay tuned - it's going to be fun !!!!!!!!
2) One damning accusation which will come back to haunt TTC management is that there is a paper trail of recommendations that have been made over the years (by staff and consultants) of which few, if any, have ever been implemented.
3) Mr. Leck has been forced into a position of being an apologist for do nothing management where "further study" has become a TTC euphemism for doing something to correct a problem.
Day 17 commences at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
Dave Irwin - 1 February 1996