A Toronto bus driver who ran a red light and nearly struck a pedestrian is no longer with the Toronto Transit Commission, but some are calling for her to retain the job, pointing out that she is a single mother with two children.
The incident, which happened in midtown Toronto last week and was captured on the dashboard camera of another vehicle, sparked public outrage and an investigation by the TTC.
Spokesman Brad Ross confirmed on Tuesday that the driver was no longer with the TTC.
"All I will say, citing privacy, is that the operator is no longer with the TTC," Ross told Yahoo Canada News in an email. "We consider the matter now closed.”
The conclusion may come as a relief to some Torontonians, who have seen some investigations into apparent employee indiscretions conclude without any significant steps being taken, at least publicly.
Others, however, may question whether such a severe conclusion was necessary (though many of those people have likely not seen the video).
Amalgamated Transit Union 113 head Bob Kinnear told the Toronto Sun that the TTC should have taken the driver off the road. He pointed out that the driver was a probationary employee, and a single mother caring for two children.
The probationary caveat pretty much put this case to rest. With less than six months on the job and still on a short leash, so to speak, a snafu of this scope and caliber is worthy of being a deal breaker.
Her personal life has no bearing.
This argument was made at least once before by those who represent TTC employees.
In 2010, when Toronto erupted in a social media civil war between transit worker and transit riders, one ticket taker at the centre of the controversy was photographed apparently sleeping in his booth.
At the time, Kinnear released a statement admonishing riders for not checking on the employee, suggesting he could have been suffering a medical emergency.
The employee himself later confirmed he had health issues, which may or may not have explained why he slept at work. He later went on medical leave and passed away following a stroke later that year.
After his passing, the TTC remembered him as a dedicated 30-year employee who once received a commendation for saving the life of a disabled TTC customer.
In that case, his indiscretion (which, it is worth noting, put no lives in immediate danger) was weighed against an extensive career of good service. His job had not been saved because he was a husband or father, nor did his illness give him carte blanche to misbehave.
It's not a matter of how many children you have at home. An employee's personal life is not something they should be punished for at work, and reasonable accommodations should be expected, but it shouldn't be a shield either.
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