Feds force vote in crippling Ottawa bus strike

Feds force vote in crippling Ottawa bus strike

As city revellers searched for a ride Wednesday to New Year’s Eve parties, Labour Minister Rona Ambrose ordered the Canada Industrial Relations Board to hold a supervised vote on the City of Ottawa’s latest contract proposal.

Ambrose is concerned for people with no other way to travel, “particularly the elderly,” she said in a statement.


The minister asked the industrial relations board to conduct the vote as soon as possible. A city spokesman said he expected it to be held on or before Jan. 9.

Ambrose also asked the board to determine whether some or all of the city’s transit system could be designated an essential service, citing safety issues.

January 9 isn’t by any means a speedy possible resolution, but I suppose it takes time to get the notice out about the vote. (Do unions ever lie about the vote results? What impartial third party checks the votes results to ensure that there has been no fudging?)

<technical writing pet peeve> As an aside, if you’re going to write captions under photos, shouldn’t you attempt to make them absolutely clear? The photo of Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien in the Citizen today includes a caption that is a summary of the bus strike article — if you didn’t know that Rona Ambrose is female, you wouldn’t know who the gentleman in the picture was; the picture of Rona herself is very clear and just gives her name and nothing else — did Larry’s need the blurb rather than just an explanation of who he was?



One of the finger nails that I’m having particular trouble growing is the thumbnail on my right hand. Some of the other nails have ridges and the like but those could be explained away by peeling off layers of nail during prior nail biting episodes — it’s never even so you’re left with lengthwise ridges until the nail grows in (and up) again. The right thumbnail, though, is concave and the nail is too soft to grow out properly. The other thumbnail has a very slight dent in it and a bit of a hillock that I’ve essentially been filing down.

I have insomnia today (it’s now 9am and I still haven’t been to bed) so I decided to have a quick Google to see what I could find.

What I found was a nail disorder called Koilonychia, which is usually linked to chronic iron deficiency anemia. That’s interesting to me because I’ve had trouble with iron levels for years. When I was sick in 2000, I had to take supplements for months just to bring my iron level up to the very low end of normal. I even had iron deficiency issues when I was a kid. (I could have sworn I’d blogged about it before but I’ll be darned if I can find where.) I should take supplements, but I admit that I’ve been scared by horror stories of iron supplements gone bad. Still, given that iron deficiency would explain some of the fatigue and other weird problems I’ve been having, I should make a concerted effort to at least start taking my multivitamin every day.

Fat and malnourished is not how you want your life to go. You have to neglect and mistreat yourself pretty badly to accomplish that. Next thing you know, I’ll be developing scurvy or beriberi.

One year in fast forward

Two absolutely beautiful and very serene videos from Eirik Solheim showing images of the same stand of trees during 2008.

One year in 40 seconds (using 10mm wide angle images):

One year in 2 minutes (using 55mm zoomed-in images):

His Youtube channel has a number of other interesting time lapse or morphing videos, and his personal site offers some background information and details as well as photography tips and tricks. Definitely a new favourite.