The parties involved in the Ottawa bus strike, both sides of the matter, are certainly worth the ultimate gooseberry (you should be from the UK to appreciate the accolade).
The malls are empty, people are strangling the roads during the rush hours because everyone who has a car is now using it needlessly for travelling to work.
It is a disaster, that has persisted and persisted. This in the capital city of Canada. It begs the question: why did you vote for that criminal O’Brien, and his unhappy band of fellow-travellers? The social cost is enormous and not just in terms of health for those held prisoner in their homes.
In Montréal this never would have happened: public transport is regarded as a public service. This must be made so here too, in Ottawa.
The paucity of information, the lack of action: whilst both the public and businesses in most areas suffer horribly in this snowy, cold and intemperate weather.
The strikers, who are certainly suffering from financial stress, now that they have been out for so long, probably think they should apply for part of the new issuance of $500,000, on top of the original $200,000 that was to help the economically afflicted, and all of those disabled or at any rate unable to travel anywhere. This money would not have to be spent if the strike had gone to grandfathering and/or arbitration.
The car owners are seemingly unaware of the fate of others, although some have helped: notably concerning that poor woman who was having to walk 6 hours each way to fulfil her night shift obligations. The store, one of the Loeb chain, was seemingly unaware of her circumstances, but that seems impossible, unless management and/or her co-workers were totally blind. The lady was helped by articles in the Ottawa Citizen and, although she seems inordinately afraid of people, it would seem that all will be in order for her and she will be taken to and from work in volunteers’ vehicles.
Here, below, is a guy that might have brought some charisma and made the parties in the strike talk to each other. Fat chance, sadly. There has been some movement by the City Council of late, told us on January 25th., but one shouldn’t hold ones breath.
Below is a tiny part of the audience at the inauguration in DC, January 20th.: these were happy people, unlike the inhabitants of that other capital city, to the north, the great white north, of Washington DC.
Originally published January 23rd., 2009