October 13, 2017 6:30 pm
Updated: October 13, 2017 11:19 pm

Toronto’s auditor general says no wrongdoing by TTC staff in Scarborough subway-LRT comparison

Signage from a TTC subway station.

Don Mitchell / AM 640/ Global News File

Toronto’s accountability officer has cleared the TTC’s CEO and staff of interference after a citizens’ group complained about a cost comparison put forward to city councillors involving the Scarborough subway extension.

On Friday, auditor general Beverly Romeo-Beehler said a briefing note issued on June 29, 2016, which compared costs between the proposed one-stop Scarborough subway extension and a light-rail line, was “within an acceptable range.”

The decision follows a complaint sent in January by the Scarborough Transit Action (STA) group, which supports an LRT network for Scarborough.

WATCH: It’s a debate council has argued about over and over: the Scarborough subway extension. Two Toronto councillors had a friendly faceoff over the extension’s future in March. Erica Vella reports.

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The group accused Toronto Mayor John Tory and “pro-subway councillors” of issuing a “misleading” briefing note to push for a one-stop subway line over a seven-stop LRT network, and says cost considerations and delivery dates for the LRT option were passed up without an “objective comparison.”

However, Romeo-Beehler said in her decision there is “no evidence of lack of integrity” from TTC staff, nor evidence of “staff being pressured by elected officials.”

“The potential difference between the briefing note figures and our calculated escalated cost is within an acceptable range given the stage of the project,” she said.

READ MORE: Scarborough subway extension design approved by Toronto’s executive committee

TTC boss Andy Byford thanked the auditor general in a statement released shortly after the report’s release.

“I would like to thank auditor general Beverly Romeo-Beehler for her comprehensive review and report – a report which exonerates the TTC and dismisses any suggestion that I or my staff misled council or were compelled to draft a briefing note to fit a political agenda.”

In a statement released on Friday, members of the STA said they were “disappointed” with Beehler’s findings and said they “do not fully accept the report.”

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