In general I’m not a huge fan of radio. (Though I enjoy the commercials, which is the part that everyone else seems to hate.) If music is on I find it distracts me from thinking or if there are other people around it distracts from conversation, and I like both thinking and talking. I really don’t like news radio and talk radio is the worst of all. However, this morning in the cab (yes, on occasion I take a cab to work, please don’t focus on this detail) talk radio was on. Some interesting topics were being discussed, both related to the City of Ottawa, so I thought I would share the issues and my opinions on them.
Larry O’Brien & The Lockout
For those that don’t live in Ottawa, O’Brien is our mayor. I truly feel that he embodies all that is corrupt and terrible about politics in a single person. Even before the legal scandals that have overshadowed his term I didn’t like him or his ideas for running the city. The latest drama surrounding him is a discussion he had on a local television station about transit strikes. Last year's winter OC Transpo strike was terrible, so so awful. On TV, he said something along the lines of “If it looks like we are going to be in a situation like that again, then I think we need to lock them out during the summer, so as to avoid a strike in the winter. If they are in position to strike, we are in a position to lock out.” People are very unhappy with his statement. While I don’t know if this tough talk is the best approach, he is right, legally the city could lock out their employees if there is no contract. That is the employer part of the whole strike thing, they have certain rights as well. Unions have the right to strike, their employers have the right to lock them out. What I think is important about what he said is that he reminded everyone of a very key component that is often forgotten.
Bilingualism & The Olympic Torch
The Olympic Torch ceremony held at City Hall over the past weekend was conducted solely in English. There is an uproar over this which has lead to the city working on clarify their bilingualism policies to ensure that French is not forgotten again in the future. (Ironically the memo that went out about this was only in English and it wasn’t until an hour and a half later that a bilingual notice was sent around, along with more apologies for forgetting, again.) I can not believe the ceremony wasn’t bilingual. We are an officially bilingual city, policies should be so solidly in place that official languages are always considered. I don’t understand how it wasn’t caught earlier on in the planning. I definitely think that it should have been in both languages and that it was a huge error on the city’s part.