Health care workers struggle to meet patients during strike
Although Para Transpo continues to operate during the transit strike, with delays, personal support workers and caregivers are having difficulty meeting their elderly and disabled patients.
The strike has observers concerned about the lack of contingency plans for some of Ottawa's most vulnerable people. They're imploring both sides to return to the bargaining table.
Catherine Gardner plans to picket City Hall until talks resume.
"We're told to carpool, join up with other people, walk, cycle, do whatever," she told CTV Ottawa.
"People with disabilities unfortunately can't do that. We're limited."
Debbie Kirkwood, a personal care worker for house-bound seniors, said the strike has made it hard for many of her colleagues to meet patients and provided essential care, from preparing meals to helping with hygiene.
"What do you do? You keep them in their bed all day with soiled diapers or they haven't had their personal care for the day, their bath. Or they're not eating right. It's just not right. It's not right at all," Kirkwood said.
A lack of buses means patients have received replacement workers, and new faces can be frightening and intimidating to some, Kirkwood added.
Mike Nemesvery has felt the strike's impact firsthand. He booked an accessible taxi for the Fallowfield rail station, but other able-bodied passengers grabbed the cab when his train arrived, leaving him stranded.
"What I don't understand is how people who were on the same train as me, who knew that I was in a wheelchair, could just do that and take it," Nemesvery said. "Or how the driver who had been pre-booked could just do that. It's appalling." (13 secs)
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Nicole d'Entremont