Chief Bill Blair will report to the police services board on an incident last Thursday that saw a TTC bus commandeered to shuttle the mayor's football team away from a game.
Councillor Michael Thompson, vice-chair of the police board, said Monday that earlier in the day Blair had been asked to speak at the November 14 board meeting to provide more information on the rules surrounding "shelter buses," which the TTC provide on an emergency basis at the request of police and Toronto Fire.
Thompson said that he would make sure Blair's report includes specific information about the two buses pulled off busy routes to ferry the Don Bosco Eagles back from a game at Father Henry Carr Secondary School on Thursday.
"I think we need to have a better understanding of what transpired," Thompson said. "I certainly don't want to suggest that there is blame... or point any fingers."
Descriptions of the incident in Etobicoke differ, but reportedly the coach of the Henry Carr team got in an altercation with the referee. The game ended early because of the dispute and a lopsided score line, and police called the TTC to request a bus to pick up the Eagles, the team that Ford coaches.
Why the police felt the need to call for the bus remains unclear. Police spokespeople have alternately said it was because officers at the scene feared for the players' safety, and because it was cold and wet outside.
A bus on the 36 Finch route discharged its passengers and was dispatched to the scene but quickly became lost. At that point, Ford called TTC CEO Andy Byford and a second bus from the 46 Martin Grove route was diverted. It also dumped its passengers.
While Blair's report may shed some light on what led police to call for the bus, it won't reveal much about official police policy for requesting shelter buses. That's because, according to Thompson, there isn't one.
"It's been established that we don't actually have a real protocol," he said. "It's just been one of those things where if the police call the TTC, vis a vis the need for transportation or a bus to keep people warm, that they would actually come and provide that particular service."
The TTC says the commission gets two requests a week for the special buses, but they're usually pulled from a subway station or garage to minimize the effect on riders.
On Monday, Ford was reluctant to take questions on the bus incident, which is the latest in a growing line of football-related controversies that have dogged him this year.
As he left an executive committee meeting for his office at 12:30 pm, he was swarmed by reporters asking what his message was to the passengers who were forced off the buses so his team could get a ride home.
"I don't run the TTC," he said, as he walked briskly towards the back door of his office.
As reporters continued to shout questions and his aides ushered him through the door, Ford shot back "It was the head coach at Henry Carr who started it!"
After lunch he was more expansive however, and as he returned to the committee meeting he scrummed with reporters, denying any wrongdoing.
"I'm as clean as the days are long," he said.
"I did absolutely nothing wrong. What bothers me the most is when you find out that people were told to get off the bus. I'm all about service. That drives me nuts."
Ford was adamant however it was the police's decision to call for the bus, not his. He said he was merely "assisting the police" by calling Byford after the first vehicle got lost.
He also repeated his assertion that the opposing coach's behaviour was the "root of the problem."
"If their coach never went on the field to chase a referee, we wouldn't be in this situation right now," he said.
A spokesperson for the Toronto Catholic District School Board did not immediately return a request for comment.