31 December 2008

Federal Intervention in Municipal Affairs

Wonder if this move by Rona Ambrose, courtesy of the federal government is even legal. How can the feds insert themselves into an essentially municipal matter? Or is it that the feds can act with impunity?

Consider what happened in British Columbia when we had the BC Ferries kerfuffle three or four years ago. After there seeming to be no end in sight to the strike, the BC government legislated the workers back to work. Regardless of whether that decision was a wise one, this was a province intervening concerning a service that was under provincial jurisdiction.

Such is not the case with the Ottawa transit situation. How are the feds justified, legally (or at minimum, ethically), in getting themselves involved?

The more I think about this, the more it feels dreadfully wrong. Imagine your municipality's affairs interfered with by the federal government, rather than managed by your elected municipal government!

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