Transit Intransigence: From Jay Stapleton (Red River Ward)

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THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Transit system is woefully insufficient for a city our size and layout. There has been chronic underfunding from both the province and the municipality. As it is, the transit system is an essential (if occasionally inconvenient) part of the lives of many residents, especially students and seniors.

Pending the outcome of the upcoming labour action, I have recently learned that the Lakehead University Student Union is withholding the approximately $500,000 which they have collected from students for the purchase of transit passes. According to Michael Snodden, the LUSU president, if the strike lasts past Christmas, they will be canceling the program for the year.

The money which LUSU provides the city amounts to an equivalent of nearly 7% of the transit operating budget for 2010, or enough to purchase a new bus and pay a driver’s salary for a year. Allowing this strike to happen over procedural issues and stubborn refusal to negotiate is short sighted and foolish.

I call on the incumbent council to resolve this quickly. I will assure you that as part of the next council, I will.

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