Toronto Star slanders dead man, TTC employees, and public sector workers in general

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Letter submitted to the Star today, 24 July

Sir/Madam

Re Editorial Cartoon: Toronto Thieves hoist Grand Piano

Shame on the Star for publishing  the Theo Moudakis cartoon aimed at skewering and stereotyping TTC workers. You have outdone yourselves in meanness and confirmed yourselves as being no friend of workers who serve the Toronto public.

Many will recall the incident that “inspired” this cartoon. George Robitaille, a 30 year TTC employee, became the subject of ridicule when a picture of him sleeping in a collector’s booth was uploaded to the Internet in January, 2010. Soon after, he took a medical leave but, twenty months later, Robitaille died from a heart attack. It was revealed that at the time of the sleeping incident, he was taking heart medication which likely induced drowsiness.

The same George Robitaille, in 1995, was working for Wheel-Trans when he was called a hero. A man with a rare disorder was barely conscious when Mr. Robitaille found him on the floor of his home. The man in question said that he would have died if it was not for the efforts of Mr. Robitaille.

With all these facts at their disposal, the Star still decides, using guilt by association, to slander a dead man’s reputation and, at the same time, slander and stereotype all TTC workers. Shame on you.

Tim Heffernan

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