Tonight (Monday March 16, 2009) at 7 p.m. Talk Ottawa focuses on the ongoing legal issues with Siemens surrounding the cancellation of the North-South light-rail line, as well as safety and scheduling issues between OC Transpo and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279.
As always, the show will be open to callers for public feedback and discussion, so feel free to tune in to Rogers Cable 22 from 7 to 8 p.m. tonight to join in the discussions.
It's still worthwhile to call in.
I don't know how much Alex is willing to release regarding the legal battle with Siemens - but the discussion on the safety and scheduling issues should provide for some interesting facts to come forward, including the issue whether Council actually took a vote while in camera to say they unanimously support the position of Alain Mercier and the Mayor on this issue.
For one thing, there are not suppose to be any in-camera votes - all votes are suppose to be public - so how is it that the Mayor insists that Council is unanimous on this issue? I can see no way that all Councillors would be in agreement with this.
And watch for questions regarding the work rest rules that apply to provincially regulated municipal transit - these don't exist either as provincially regulated municipal transit are also exempted from provincial work rest rules.
So it is not just Ottawa, Gatineau and Windsor who "fall between the work rest rule gap in legislation". Its all the municipalities - nothing special about Ottawa - so why is this such an issue here?
My short answer: Because of our express (peak hour) bus service capacity needs. We simply would not have this problem if we already had an LRT backbone system extending to Barrhaven, Kanata and Orleans. It is the one driver per 40 or 60 ft bus that carries too few people that is the problem. An LRT that carries 600 people per train only needs one driver.
Oh yes, Mr Baird's proposed changes are in the Canada Gazette Part I that was published on Saturday March 14, 2009. The Government of Canada intends to amend the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, by repealing Clause 2(1)(d), which provides an exemption to the Regulations to a bus that is part of the public transit service that is provided in a municipality, in contiguous municipalities or within 25 km of the boundary of the municipality or contiguous municipalities in which the public transit is provided.
A 30-day comment period is provided in the pre-publication where the Department is interested in hearing from stakeholders.
People are invited to visit the Department's website at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/mediaroom/releases/nat/2009/09-h036e.htm to view the News Release and the Canada Gazette at http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2009/2009-03-14/pdf/g1-14311.pdf where the publication can now be found.
You can also click on the following link to access directly to the Canada Gazette Web page: http://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2009/2009-03-14/html/reg2-eng.html
The person to contact is:
Chief, Motor Carriers | Chef, Transporteurs routiers
Standards Research and Development | Recherche et développement en matière de normes
Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation | Sécurité routière et reglémentation automobile
Transport Canada | Transports Canada
330 Sparks St., Tower C, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 | 330 rue Sparks, tour C, Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0N5
Klaus wrote a letter to Alex asking him to clarify his statements on the show. Read it here: http://www.friendsoftheotrain.org/node/193
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