6 January 2009


10:00 a.m.





Special Meeting Called by His Worship Mayor O’Brien

To consider matters related to the ATU Local 279 strike and possible mitigation measures, and any by-laws resulting from motions adopted by Council


The Council of the City of Ottawa met at Andrew S. Haydon Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, on 6 January 2009 at 10:00 a.m.



The Mayor, Larry O’Brien, presided and the Deputy Clerk led Council in prayer.



Roll Call





Confirmation of Minutes


The Minutes of the special and In Camera meetings of 19 December 2008 were confirmed.



Declarations of pecuniary interest including those originally arising from prior meetings


No Declarations were filed.




No Communications were filed.





No Regrets were filed.



Motion to Resolve In Camera




Moved by Councillor D. Deans

Seconded by Councillor M. Bellemare


BE IT RESOLVED that Council resolve In Camera pursuant to Subsections 13. (1) (d) labour relations or employee negotiations; and (f) the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, of Procedure By-law 2006-462, with respect to matters related to collective bargaining for OC Transpo.











Moved by Councillor J. Legendre

Seconded by Councillor C. Leadman


WHEREAS Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279 workers have been on strike since December 10, 2008;


AND WHEREAS the loss of public transit service has affected residents of the City of Ottawa;


AND WHEREAS City Council believes that staff has presented to the ATU Bargaining Team a fair and reasonable offer that respects taxpayers and transit riders, particularly in the current economic environment;


AND WHEREAS 89% of Ottawa residents believe the City’s offer to the ATU Local 279 is a reasonable one and 72% believe it is important that the City hold firm to its bargaining position with the ATU Local 279;


AND WHEREAS residents have indicated a desire to see the City take further steps to alleviate the effect that the ATU strike is having on a broad section of the public;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council direct staff to investigate and report back to Council on all available strategies, including:


  1. Complete the review of using the Transitway for vehicular traffic;
  2. Enhancing taxi service and providing taxi chits to vulnerable members of the community;
  3. Implementing additional free parking, based on the number of passengers per car;
  4. Reviewing parking rates, both metered and off-street;
  5. Considering additional no-stopping restrictions;
  6. Considering the provision of additional funding to community agencies to better serve their client population;
  7. Increasing Bike and Pedestrian Mobility;

8.   That all staff parking at City Hall be strongly encouraged to bring passengers with them; and,

9.   That paid on street residential parking have the permit fee waived for the duration of the strike.







Moved by Councillor C. Doucet

Seconded by Councillor D. Holmes


WHEREAS the strike is causing great distress to thousands of people; and


WHEREAS it would helpful if people were encouraged to car pool and pick up stranded OC passengers;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED city staff also investigate making red and white printed signs for people to solicit a shared drive to a specific area.


CARRIED with Councillors D. Deans, J. Harder, S. Qadri, E. El-Chantiry, D. Thompson, B. Monette and G. Brooks dissenting.





Moved by Councillor M. Wilkinson

Seconded by Councillor D. Deans


WHEREAS City Council appreciates the work of all staff at OC Transpo in providing service to the public; and


WHEREAS City Council regrets that ATU Local 279 has chosen to go on strike rather than continue negotiations; and


WHEREAS City Council acknowledges and deeply regrets the harm this protracted labour disruption is causing our most vulnerable citizens;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council re-confirms the City’s most recent offer to the ATU Local 279, including the mandate with respect to scheduling.


CARRIED on a division of 24 YEAS to 0 NAYS as follows:


YEAS (24):      Councillors C. Leadman, D. Deans, D. Holmes, J. Harder, P. Hume, R. Bloess, M. Bellemare, C. Doucet, R. Jellett, G. Brooks, M. McRae, M. Wilkinson, R. Chiarelli, P. Feltmate, G. Hunter, B. Monette, E. El‑Chantiry, A. Cullen, S. Desroches, S. Qadri, G. Bédard, J. Legendre, D. Thompson and Mayor O’Brien.


NAYS (0):      





Moved by Councillor R. Chiarelli

Seconded by Councillor P. Feltmate


WHEREAS on December 10, 2008, City of Ottawa transit workers represented by the ATU Local 279 went on strike after its Bargaining Team/Executive rejected the City’s proposal to settle their collective agreement;


AND WHEREAS the incremental effects of the longer-term loss of public transit service are recognized as having serious consequences for public health and safety, the local economy and the environment, as well as a serious negative impact on the citizens of the National Capital Region, generally;


AND WHEREAS in the event of a strike or lockout the Canada Labour Code requires only that a union or an employer continue the supply of goods or services “to the extent necessary to prevent an immediate and serious danger to the safety or health of the public”;


AND WHEREAS there appears to be discontinuity between the general understanding of what constitutes an “essential service” and the limited scope of the phrase provided in the Canada Labour Code;


AND WHEREAS the Federal Minister of Labour has referred to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (the “Board”) the question of the application of the “essential services” provisions of the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) to the City of Ottawa and the ATU Local 279 in order to determine the action, if any, that is required for the parties to continue the supply of services to the extent necessary to prevent an immediate and serious danger to the safety or health of the public in the event of a work stoppage;


AND WHEREAS City Council and the general public have been asked to submit their views on the question of “essential services” in the context of the strike by ATU Local 279 to the Board by Friday, January 9th;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council direct the City Clerk and Solicitor to prepare and forward to the Canada Industrial Relations Board a preliminary submission outlining the City of Ottawa’s compliance with the strict requirements of Section 87.4(1) of the Canada Labour Code on or before Friday, January 9th;


AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Council directs the City Clerk and Solicitor, following receipt and consideration of the submissions made by members of the general public, to report back to Council and to recommend what further submissions, if any, should be provided to the Canada Industrial Relations Board on behalf of the City of Ottawa with respect to the issue of “essential services”.





Confirmation By-law




Moved by Councillor D. Deans 

Seconded by Councillor M. Bellemare


THAT By-law 2009-1 to confirm the proceedings of Council be enacted and passed.







The following inquiries were received:


From Councillor S. Desroches with respect to Taxi services during the Transit disruption.






Council adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.