Wednesday, January 28, 2009

McGuinty: Feds need to step up

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Ontario Premier and Ottawa South MPP Dalton McGuinty has stepped into the fray between the City of Ottawa and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 279, suggesting that the federal government--under whose jurisdiction OC Transpo falls--needs to step in and legislate the 2300 bus operators, dispatchers, and mechanics back to work. In the Citizen report, McGuinty said that the strike has gone on too long, and is disproportionately affecting the "most vulnerable citizens":
“I think it’s gone on for too long,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters at Queen’s Park. “It affects our most vulnerable citizens. It’s dramatically affecting our economy at a time when we can’t afford to have these kind of things get in the way. So my advice to the federal government is you’re going to have to come to grips with this.”

Mr. McGuinty suggested sending in a mediator with a short deadline to determine whether there’s any chance of a settlement. Failing that, he said, “you can skip step one and go immediately to step two and send these folks back to work.”

McGuinty said that the federal response to date, including Labour Minister Rona Ambrose's suggestion that it is up to the city and the union to resolve the conflict, reflects "a lack of leadership" from the feds.

Not one to shy away from labour issues, McGuinty has twice waded into strikes within Ontario: Most recently introducing back-to-work legislation for striking York University professors, and also in April 2008 when he legislated Toronto Transit Commission staff back to work.

1 comment:

ousmac said...

WHAT IN HELL TOOK YOU SO LONG, DALTON?

An Ottawa MPP, for shame. THROW THIS BUM OUT.