Ottawa: You can’t get there from here


By Rose Simpson

When did the City of Ottawa become so cruel?

It’s hard not to feel a tug on the heart, when you watch all kinds of people getting the shaft because the city wants to cut 100 bus routes to save $22 million. The people being affected aren’t the swells in the  inner city; they are the young, the poor, the blind, the old and the infirm. They are working Joes and Janes many of whom are saying they are going to have to quit their jobs because they can’t get to them.

All of their cries seem to be falling on deaf ears during the city’s so-called “public consultations” which basically don’t mean anything, anyway. The city has made it clear it intends to steamroll on ahead to reach the magic number.

If the bus fiasco isn’t bad enough, the city is now screwing everybody who doesn’t live in an apartment building by saying it plans to stop weekly garbage service to save money — just in time for raccoon and maggot season! There is one exception: the city will allow parents of babies and incontinent seniors to sign up for weekly dirty diaper service. (Auntie May — your secret’s out!)

Ottawans who object to the garbage proposal are being chided for not using their green bins, whose smelly contents will be picked up weekly, to guard against a possible epidemic of banana peels and garbage goo in every yard. Once again, there will be public consultations, but city officials have made it clear that the plan will go ahead.

The whole mess stinks higher than the dumpster behind a daycare.

Look, we pay taxes in this overpriced burg to get service, exactly what the city wants to take away. What’s next? Put pay as you go meters in city parks? Drop off a load of gravel at each curbside so people can fill in their own potholes?

Clearly, people in Ottawa aren’t happy with either the bus or the garbage proposals.

The bus route slashing will hurt decent, hard-working people, not to mention businesses like Gilmore Printing which depend upon people who can’t afford cars. Poor people need buses to work. They already get up at 5 a.m. and ride an hour across town to some crappy job or other; the bus is the difference between them working and them starving.

The garbage proposal is just wrong. Not everyone has the ability or space to recycle on such a grand scale. Their residences will likely see vermin run amok for two weeks while their trash rots in mudrooms. Those with dogs and kitties will have their front rooms smelling like shit in no time at all since animal waste is banned from the green bin.

Who’s in charge?

Where the hell is Mayor Jim Watson while city staff are being caned in the kneecaps by seniors and other disgruntled taxpayers?

Watson appears to have disappeared into the curtains.

If Larry O’Brien had been Mayor, there would have been garbage strewn in the lobby of his condo.

Not Watson; he’s sipping his Timmy-sponsored steeped tea and counting the money in the backroom.

It’s time for Ottawans to rise up against this oppression and pepper their councillors with phone calls and text messages.

They’ll have to deal with a big, stinky communications crisis, and soon.

Maybe there’s an app for that.

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