It’s Day 48 of the Ottawa OC Transpo strike and some citizens are more than fed up. A number of protests were organized today, starting from the Ottawa City Hall and leading up the Parliament, where conveniently government reconvened today for first time since it was prorogued by the Governor General in December.
It may have been the cold (it was -21C with wind chill), it may have been that it was Monday morning or it may just have been the fact that people had no transport to get to Parliament – but the turnout was poor. No more than 100 200 people (according to the CBC, but I swear that half were journalists or photographers) joined the second protest, which was preceded by a smaller contingent of protesters earlier in the day. While the small turnout may be a disappointment to organizers, in my view, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t utterly pissed that this strike has been allowed to drag on for so long. Councillor Clive Doucet was the only elected official from either the municipal, provincial or federal governments, and mentioned that he receives around 600 emails a day(!) from angry citizens in regards to the strike. If some were hoping to see John Baird, Rona Ambrose or Mayor O’brien at the protest they were out of luck. While some think that some involvement from the Federal level would push things forward, or at least bring the strikers back to work, Federal Minister of Labour, Rona Ambrose, said last week that the federal government would not get involved.
Whether you are on the city’s side or the driver’s side I am sure ALL OF US want to see the conflict resolved as soon as possible. If you want your voice to be heard, Ecology Ottawa has prepared a petition that you can sign to help end the strike. The link is http://www.ecologyottawa.ca/take-action/sign-on/. They plan to bring the petition themselves to City Council January 28th.
You can also contact Mayor O’brien (613-580-2496) and the city of Ottawa councillors (contact info here: http://www.ottawa.ca/city_hall/mayor_council/councillors/index_en.html), and let them know that you want action to resolve this strike.
Any comments? Please write to us.