Public Transit-ion

It’s day 37 of the Ottawa transit strike. There’s no sign of a deal. But it didn’t really affect me until yesterday (aside from a slightly longer commute and new carpool company, which is actually quite pleasant). Yesterday I came home and was annoyed to find that my housekeeper hadn’t come to clean the house, as she does every two weeks while Suzy and I are at work. The place is overdue. Ceta hasn’t been here since early December, before the holidays. I’ve been keeping up with the tree needles and the laundry, but we count on her for a twice-monthly scrub. And we’ve set her up with other friends as well. She’s putting her nieces through school back in the Philippines.

So when I got home it hit me that no transit = no Ceta. And I instantly felt guilty. I should be doing something about this stupid strike.

I mentioned this to Dan on the way in to work this morning and suggested that what we need to do is kick the bums out of City Hall and start over. But nobody’s doing that. There are no rallies or posters up or even heckling, and no obvious leader around which sensible voices have coalesced. Heck, there aren’t even ad hoc transit options popping up — like pink ribbons on random street lamps denoting pick-up spots for women by hockey moms putting their minivans to good use, or new carpool web sites …

I asked Dan if we should get some eggs and go to City Hall — if we could start something. There’s violence in cracking egg shells. He shook his head.

“This is so Ottawa. The government employees are too rich to care, and the poor have no voice.”

It’s true. The little wad of cash is still there on the wash stand by the key bowl inside my front door. It didn’t make it to Ceta, to her bank account, and to those nieces. And Dan and I just went to work, like everyone else. And we don’t work for the government. Another normal day in Ottawa.

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