Monday, 28 April 2008

Define Essential!!!

As I have previously noted, I am a resident of the northern ghetto and as such I have an intense relationship with my car. Any resident of the GTA who does not reside within the 416, can recount tales of transit woe! Subway? Ma Zeh Subway? Buses are a horrible mish mash of regional services that demand extra fares whenever one crosses territorial boundaries. (An aside-The VIVA transit system that came to York Region over the past couple of years has been a God-send in many ways and seems to be thriving by using a mix of cleanliness and customer service--what a unique business plan!!) As such, we 905ers have a built in umbilical cord with our automobiles. Without personal vehicles, basic trips such as getting to work, medical appointments, and grocery shopping would require several hours out of our days. Would I like to be more transit friendly? This goes without saying, but transit needs to be economically feasible and convenient for it's users in order to encourage more people to ride, something that the mess of services in the 905 is certainly not. (Think New York, Chicago or London and you will understand what real public transit is and should be!) But, the TTC does impact and affect my life in a discernible and meaningful way. Younger son attends school in midtown and is a regular weekday rider. Older son, lives in within the approved city limits and is a Metropass holder, as public transit is his sole means of traversing the roads, given the fact that his parents are mean, cruel and horrible (not to mention cheap!) people who will not foot the bill for a car!! More people on public transit, means less people in cars and on the roads and therefore the daily horror that has become driving is somewhat lessened. (I said that I lived in the ghetto. I didn't say I was cloistered or stayed in the ghetto all the time!!) When the strike was first threatened over a week ago, younger son, diligent student that he is, made arrangements to spend a couple of nights at his grandparents house. The idea was that he would walk the rest of the way to school-an hour each way! Over 1 million rides are taken daily on the TTC! 1 million people trying to get to work! 1 million people trying to see their doctors and dentists! 1 million people hoping to help the economy and spend money in the city! 1 million people trying to save money on gasoline and help the environment! Isn't that essential? Isn't it essential that your nurse or local firefighter (who are deemed essential, by the way!) makes it to work to help your ailing parent or saves your neighbour's life? Isn't it essential that the minimum wage worker gets to his job so that missing a day's wage will not put his rent or daily meal in danger? Isn't it essential that a university student makes it to her exams on time so that her entire year is not put in jeopardy? Carpooling, cycling, walking, cabbing or simply driving is not the option for most people that it is for me. When a civil service can paralyze a city of millions, literally shutting it down and causing panic, danger and economic nightmares, it seems to me that is the very definition of essential. I truly believe in the power of collective bargaining and workers rights, but this is where I stop drinking the Kool-Aid!!! Essential? Absolutely!!!! Get to work Dalt and Dave and make it happen!!

An update on some leftover kitchen stuff. Now that spring has arrived, the outside deck and painting needs to be completed. No surprise that Outside Shithole of a Contractor is not returning ours or Overall Contractor's calls. There are some problems with the deck that need to be rectified before it can be stripped and stained and used this summer. Nothing major that couldn't be solved with a half a days worth of work! We have this new and wonderful exit into our backyard that we cannot access and the kicker in all of this is that the pool is due to open next week! A word to the wise--Hunky does not mean cool!!!! What a Putz!! Keep you all posted.

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