Important bus service strangled by standoff
Friday, August 10, 2012
Times & Transcript
By: Jerry Kirkpatrick
Topics: Codiac Transit, Labour Relations
Letter of the day
To The Editor:
I've heard that Metro Moncton is the fastest growing municipality in Canada.
Based on my observations the past few years I think this is true because the population is rising and construction is booming.
I also see growth in other areas too, such as: there are more people living on the streets than ever before; the number of citizens without a family doctor is the highest per capita in the province; there is a growing waiting list to access social and other community services supports; and now we can claim our newest growth, the public transit strike.
I know several friends and acquaintances who use the bus service, and most, if not all, are under social and financial stress because of the strike. In the shadows of the city/ union disagreement is an important community service sitting inactive.
Ask any bus driver - the bus service extends far beyond transportation. Bus drivers and the bus service structure give people a place of safety, comfort, friendship, companionship and fellowship. In my experiences over the years, I can sincerely tell you that bus drivers lend balance to the daily lives of many citizens.
Like it or not, the municipality is directly responsible for its citizens' safety and well-being. It matters not if community services are provincially or federally funded and directed; what matters is that they are in our neighbourhoods, making it our issue to resolve. It is not acceptable for local councils to hide behind rules (it's not my department) and other foolish brush offs.
Community strength and growth goes far beyond building parks, paths, and infrastructure. A healthy town/city must also include a healthy safety net for citizens to work and live under. Growth is useless if it promotes fear.
As the duel of inflexibility rages on between the union and council, another quality service crumbles before us.
Jerry Kirkpatrick, Riverview