Letter: Is BC Transit getting paid during strike?

Are we continuing to forward payment to BC Transit during this period of non-service? If not, good! If so, why?

To the editor:

Interesting to learn last week that the City of Kelowna is distancing itself from the current transit strike.

However, there’s another important issue to be addressed. This job action is in part the result of reluctance by the contractor, First Bus Canada, and the Amalgamated Transit Union to reach a settlement, and since BC Transit awarded First Bus the contract, it would seem that they are ultimately responsible for the manner in which that contractor operates.

The inconvenient curtailment of transit service in the Central Okanagan is a direct result of such intransigence (and I’m not taking one side or the other).

As the writer from the City of Kelowna was at pains to explain: “The city government (and we may assume, all civic governments in the Central Okanagan) are outside spectators in this dispute and have no control or influence.”

In other words: This is a dispute over which we, the ultimate stakeholders, have no say at all, despite the fact the tax payers pay a significant share of transit operations as payment for the service from Lake Country to Peachland.

So here, at last, is my question: Are we continuing to forward payment to BC Transit during this period of non-service? If not, good! If so, why? Since there is no delivery of service, I would argue, we should not be paying for such non-service. It’s no different than, say, going to a store to buy a product, only to be told they’re out of stock. Only a fool would pay for it anyway before walking out of the place. Perhaps we should all be asking our respective mayors and councillors this question.

And by the way, our local governments took BC Transit’s advice in 1999 and terminated the contractor who had performed trouble-free transit service for over 20 years in order to “improve service with a better operator.” So tell me: How’s it going so far?

Roderick MacIntosh, Peachland