This letter was sent to:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Ann-Marie.Foley@transpo.ottawa.on.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org
… on the morning of Friday Jan. 13, 2012
An Open Letter To OC Transpo, The City Of Ottawa, Billings Bridge Mall Security officials, and the Ottawa Police, RE: Death Threats On The OC Transpo Platforms.
On January 11, about 11:30 I guess, my wife and I arrived at Billings Bridge Mall via the OC Transpo bus platform located to the south of the Mall off the back parking lot.
There is, as you may know, a passageway that links the mall’s food court to the OC Transpo station. As we were entering the passageway, a man lit up a cigarette on the platform, maybe ten feet from the entrance of the passageway.
“There are no smoking signs all over the place,” I told him brusquely, “but they don’t apply to you, so have at it…”
“Mind your own fuckin’ business!” the man says.
“It IS my fuckin’ business!” I shout back. “You are stinking up the whole place!”
So I got my video camera out and filmed this:
So, after being called a “fag” and being vaguely threatened – as I pointed out in the video – he threatened my life. Seriously: as I was walking into the Natural Food Pantry, getting my cart, and as he was about to get onto the escalator, he leaned towards the store’s door and said “If I see you outside, you’re dead.” He might have said “fuckin’ dead”. My wife heard it clearly, as well.
I tried to get him to say it again on camera as he went down the escalator, but he refused. I would have followed him until security arrived, but my wife has epilepsy and we didn’t want to have even more troubles.
So, yes – I would like this man found and charged. I understand that police and mall security are busy with far more pressing issues, but since there are numerous cameras in and around the bus platform and mall, it should not be hard to locate some footage of this guy talking to me on the platform, in the passageway, in the food court, or on the escalator.
The threat – I feel – is the kind of podunk idiot threat one hears children say on playgrounds, or that drunks say outside of taverns. I don’t take it as a serious threat to my life or safety – it was quiet laughable, in fact. But, it is a threat, nonetheless, and if I didn’t report it, I would be at fault.
This incident comes after many years of trouble at the Billings Bridge Bus Station. Almost every time I go to that place, I am forced to deal with tobacco smoke ON the platforms. The OC Transpo security guards are not – by their own admission to me, in person, last year – handing out fines for people smoking on the platforms, only warnings. Back almost two years ago, now, Alex Cullen, the Councillor who was in charge of the OC Transpo file at City Hall, he even told me on the phone that “they have only been issuing warnings, but from now on they will be issuing fines”. Have they? Has even a single fine been handed out?
I will put up with this no longer. My health and my rights are being infringed upon quite regularly as I simply try to get my groceries, and it is happening because of the ongoing, and – I feel, deliberate – inaction of OC Transpo security. The guards told me last year that “when people pay their fines, it goes to the province. But we are paid by the city, so…”. This indicated to me that they are under specific orders to not bother handing out fines.
Why? Is it because the court costs of processing these fines is too expensive and tiresome?
I demand action. Immediately. I want more security on that platform, I want them issuing actual fines instead of warnings, and I would like to see some written proof showing the entire community how many, if any, actual fines have been issued.