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January 29th, 2009:

Return of the buses

The phasing in – according to the Citizen:

No word on dates… but I’m guessing we’ll see the O-Train and the 80 & 90 series routes back as early as late next week. Here’s hopin’!

OC Transpo has a tentative plan for restoring transit service as quickly as possible, but a return to full service will take some time. Mechanics are working to bring all the buses back, but vehicles that haven’t had significant maintenance in more than 50 days can’t all be put on the roads immediately.

This is OC Transpo’s tentative plan for which routes will be back first.

Weekdays

Will operate during their regularly scheduled day, including rush hours:

• O-Train

• All school routes, numbered in the 600s

• Rapid transit routes 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 101, 102 and 106

• Major routes 2, 7, 12, 14, 85, 86 and 118

• Peak employment route 105

• Van route 123

• Early morning routes 824, 825, 830, 835, 837, and 873

Will operate evenings and mid-day only, outside of rush hours:

• Routes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 18, 87, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116 and 117

• Local black routes numbered 121 through 178

Will not operate immediately:

• Green express and rural express routes

• Red rush hour routes other than 102 and 105

Saturday & Sunday

All routes that normally run on weekends will operate at full service.

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The strike is OVER

Both sides have agreed to binding arbitration with everything on the table!

This is GREAT news – however, I will blog a bit later about how pissed I am that it took this long!

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A letter to Jack Layton

I encourage everyone to send a copy of this (or modified if you don’t really admire the guy or the NDP) to : layton.j@parl.gc.ca

Hi Mr. Layton:

As much as I admire much of what you and what your party has done for all Canadians in challenging the current Government on a number of issues, I do hope that you will put partisanship aside and support the Government (yes, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth) in supporting back to work legislation to end the Ottawa transit strike.
This disruption has reached a point where intransigence is prevailing over cooperation and ego over conciliation.
I know it is generally not the policy of the NDP to support this type of  legislation, but it is my hope that you and your party will think about how the public transit users in this community have suffered over the past 50+ days.

Thank you and good luck this year!

John Marshall

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Back to work legislation is possible

So, the strike is finally going to be addressed by the House.  Rona Ambrose has stated that she is ready to introduce back-to-work legislation.

The surprising turn of events came after a flurry of activity beginning at Queen’s Park yesterday when Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty called on the federal government to intervene and end the strike.

“I think it’s gone on for too long,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters.

“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.”

Yes, but it is not only the most vulnerable citizens who have been hit by this. My family and I are by no means “vulnerable”, but our stress levels are at all-time highs due to the stoppage. Life can, at times, be stressful and we deal with that. But adding the strike to the usual cocktail of kids, work, et al has truly pushed both Colleen and I toward the brink. Our work hours are out of whack due to the necessity of taking carpools. When the carpools aren’t available (as is the case for the next week for Colleen since her driver has gone on a vacation), then there is the added stress of dropping the kids off AND picking them up as well as fighting the traffic and paying $15/day to park reasonably close to her building.

We are ALL vulnerable… it’s just that some are more so than others.

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Hoop snakes – update!

Those damned Aussies just don’t get it!

The hoop snake is one of the most dangerous critters on the planet – but Downunder, there are those who want to preserve this deadly evolutionary freak!

http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=hoop+snakes&init=quick#!/group.php?gid=13958243734&ref=search&sid=559540430.4234265237..1

For example, there are unconfirmed reports that the coyote problem outside of Ottawa is being exacerbated by winter hoops driving out the coyotes from their natural habitats. The hoop snakes – especially the young ones – roll into a tight hoop and invade the coyotes dens… and devour the young coyotes!

Even more disturbing is his photo sent to me this morning by a hoop watcher in Westboro… they are getting close! Watch out for them – especially around storm grates partially covered by snow!

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UPDATE! UPDATE!

While on a walk down the street this morning, I saw a very, very rare WINTER hoop snake!

While both I and my 6 year old were a little freaked out by this, we were in no imminent danger since the winterhoops cannot move quickly in slushy conditions and we were able to avoid the danger with little trouble.

Nonetheless, if in Canada at this time of the year, beware! And wear high boots and long pants!

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The squid-dude recently posted some scribblings about how, as a child growing up in B.C., he had to be wary of the tree octopus.

It reminded me of the times I was was warned to not tarry to long at the bottom of grassy hills for fear of being attacked by a hoop snake.

Never actually saw one, but my Dad swore that they were common enough to be feared.

whsshp4

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