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City won’t pursue ‘essential’ tag for OC Transpo – Metro US

City won’t pursue ‘essential’ tag for OC Transpo

Transit may be an important service for Ottawa residents, but it’s not essential and it’s not likely to be any time soon.

Yesterday, the city’s corporate services committee decided not to pursue the issue of designating OC Transpo an essential service after receiving a staff report advising against it. That move effectively put the brakes on the prospect of it ever happening.

“The designation of an essential service does not eliminate the chances of a strike,” said city solicitor Rick O’Connor, adding that evidence shows it can actually prolong a strike and result in only limited bus service during a strike anyhow.

Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen, chair of the city’s transit committee, argued that since transit services in Ottawa have gone on strike only three times since the end of the Second World War, there was no strong evidence of a “broken system that required taking away the rights of management and employees…”

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