For Immediate Release
January 9, 2014
Inaction on school busing report leaves students in the cold: MHA
St. John’s—St. John’s North MHA Dale Kirby says the Minister of Education is continuing to sit on a school transportation report rather than acting in the best interest of student safety. The report, which reviewed school busing policies in Newfoundland and Labrador, was completed by consultants last year at a cost of $75,000 to the tax-payer.
“Despite overwhelming feedback indicating that busing policies are not working for many students and parents, the $75,000 consultants' report has been left gathering dust in the Minister’s office instead of guiding improvements,” says Kirby.
Because current government regulations deny busing services to students who live closer than 1.6 km to school, many young children are forced to walk to school in the face of frigid temperatures and a heavy build-up of snow and ice on many roadways. Kirby says the Minister's inaction combined with the current weather and road conditions create a potentially dangerous walk to school for students who are denied busing.
“I challenge Minister Jackman to take a 1.6 km walk to school with me on Friday, when the wind chill temperature is forecast to be as low as minus 26 degrees, and see firsthand how difficult and dangerous the walk to school is for young elementary school children,” says Kirby. “Students in some of the more high-traffic areas of St. John's and Paradise, for example, are needlessly being put in harm’s way while government is content to turn a blind eye to this long-standing problem”.
For more information, please contact:
Dale Kirby, MHA