"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Transit Strike

Weirdness  surrounds  this strike. The Banner had an editorial on  the subject. That's weird.

Mayors and Councils have received e-mails from passengers and union members. That's not weird.

The strike is seven weeks old and nobody  is at the table. Seems York Region  doesn't care much whether or not there is a service. Maybe their real intention is to fold it.

You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away and when to run

The Regional chairman says the region will not intervene. That's weird.

The service is regional. But the chairman thinks of regional involvement as "intervening"

I received an e-mail from a union member indicating York Region Transit is operated by private companies. Four. Foreign companies.

Profits are sent abroad.

Millions of dollars.

That can't be right. Right?

Not necessarily.

We know of regional transit and Viva.

We know the service is subsidized at a rate of four and a half dollars a fare.

The Region collects that from municipalities. Municipalities collect it from property owners.

It's hard enough to see regional transit trundling round our streets at all hours, like the headless horseman, a huge omnibus with driver obscured and no passengers. Then we fully understand how public funds are swallowed in great gulps.

But private companies do not contract to lose money. Profit is their reason for being.So,where does it come from?

Well bless your heart. From your pocket of course.

What kind of a Faustian deal did the Region make when they set up the transit system?

Was the sole objective to neuter union organisation? At whatever the cost?

Contracting out for least cost is a legitimate business plan.Low cost means less taxes or lower prices.

Except, how is it legitimate to subsidise transit fares by $4.50 each from public funds to while profits are generated for private companies?

How can it be legitimate to drain resources from our own economy to improve foreign economy.

What kind of twisted logic is that?

How does it serve?

Other than subsidy, residents depending on transit to get to and from work do not benefit from strikes.

Regional residents and business operators do not benefit from an excessive tax burden.

Country Canada does not benefit from resources draining out to foreign economies.

Without taking a position on whether or not union demands are reasonable,I think
resources are not all that has been funneled out of Canada.

I think we have exchanged principles of fairness in labour practice, the right to organize and negotiate in good faith, for the law of the jungle

Like many other phoney claims to excellence, the Region is big on Character Community.

Like it's something you can frame, hang on your office wall or use in a resume.

Like a brand.


Anonymous said...

This deserves a WTF despite your language cop.
But the Ontario government is busy with it's anti-
bullying law. Sure wouldn't have helped you, would it ?
Do try to get some down time; you've earned it - take

Anonymous said...

You can take all the pot shots at me that you want but
I think the Globe article on wolverine out west sounds
like Evelyn, especially the last line.

Anonymous said...

Public transit should be fully paid for by the people who use it.

Even at double or triple it's a bargain vs. driving.

To charge for this service as a part of property taxes is ridiculous.

Dave Robinson said...

May I disagree with Anonymous 9:55? If we require that public services be paid exclusively by those who use them, we'll end up with a poorer library, underdeveloped trail system, and almost non-existent public transit. I am fortunate to own a car but I know others in town who don't - medical reasons, the cost, etc. What does someone who lives in Aurora and works in Newmarket do? Move? Quit their job and try to find one here? A town should be more than people looking out only for their own interests.

Dave Robinson.

Anonymous said...

Let's see YRT gets a bunch of taxpayer money that they pass on to private companies to employ the drivers.

The private companies try and make as much profit as possible from the money they receive from the taxpayers.

The drivers try and earn as much money as possible to do their job.

Can you say rock and a hard place?

Of course our tax bills are being reduced while all of these wages are being saved by the strike action.


Anonymous said...

Aurora's Own Endangered Varmint . Works for me.

Anonymous said...

To Dave Robinson:

Since the post was in connection with public transit my comment was related to that single topic. All the others can be discussed separately at another time.

It's interesting that in many countries, if governments have understood that the movement of people from their homes to their places of work is essential and appropriate then effective transportation systems have been built. The bulk of them operate at minimum a break even or a profit and the ownership is within the country.

Transportation systems such as Highway 407 and London's Heathrow airport, just to name a couple, have been "sold" to investors from many countries. What is involved is a huge lump-sum payment up front, sometimes several billions of dollars, and then a lengthy lease - up to 99 years - which can be very profitable as the traffic usually increases and the fees for use also rise. I believe one or two Canadian pension plans are investors in this sort of thing.

There have been very interesting stories in the papers the past few days dealing with ways in which Alberta and British Columbia are modifying their health systems and the basis on which hospitals are funded. Instead of handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to hospitals for general use, some are now being paid on the basis of the surgical procedures they actually perform, or the number of people who actually come into Emergency for assistance, i.e. piece work. This has cut costs and waiting times.

This is the sort of thing we should be debating, not a transit strike. Just as Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers some 30 years ago, why not do the same with the drivers and replace them with people who would love to have a job?

And probably fire the Regional Chair while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

Ontario is big and passive. We simply do not react.
There is nothing someone who feels small and useless
when reading such material can do. Sometimes we yell
but actually confronting a problem seems unacceptable.
Until the whole thing implodes and then it will be too late.
Such negative thoughts with which to end the year.
I have a vague hope that the internet could intervene
but that also requires will and wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Good Grief, Woman. We can't even control the
spending of our own Council and you want us to try
and take on the Region ?