6:30 p.m., Feb. 22)
Transpo boss sacked as part of surprising restructuring
By Fred Sherwin
Transpo's controversial general manager Alain Mercier
is out and veteran city bureaucrat John Manconi is Ottawa's
new transit chief after city council approved a shuffling
of the deck chairs this afternoon.
has been in and out of hot water with successive city
councils ever since the lengthy OC Transpo strike in 2009.
Most recently he was taken to task for failing to notify
city councillors about a accident involving two buses
on the Transitway near Tunney's Pasture.
was brought in to replace Alain Carle in 2007. Carle was
fired after only one year on the job.
of the persistent criticisms about Mercier, especially
from the union that represents OC Transpo's drivers and
maintenance workers, was that he didn't have a public
to coming to Ottawa, he was president of a Montreal trucking
company. He also ran a rail parts company and was with
VIA Rail for 14 years.
informed that Mercier had been fired, ATU president Garry
Queale told the Ottawa Sun that his membership
would be "ecstatic" about the news.
best just wasn't good enough," said Queale, adding
that he felt like he was "pissing in the wind"
when dealing with the former transit head.
union and OC Transpo have been trying to negotiate a new
long term contract since early December. The two sides
agreed to a one year extension back in November that is
due to expire at the end of March.
Mercier's exit, it will now be up to Manconi to try and
negotiate a new deal.
was formerly the general manager of public works. Under
the reorganization, he will report directly to deputy
city manager of operations Steve Kanellakos.
city manager Nancy Shepers will head up a new department
responsible for "planning and infrastructure",
which will oversee the Lansdowne Park redevelop.m.ent and
all other future public-private partnerships.
O'Keefe will replace Manconi as GM for public works.
1:00 a.m., Feb. 18)
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