After the new policies on transportation of children to extra-curricular events were released on Friday, February 27, we immediately got a copy on line and read the documents. There was a lot of coverage in the media and some interesting questions were raised so that same day, Friday February 27, and on Monday, March 2, then again on Wednesday March 4, we called the Director of Communications, Ron White at the Department to ask for clarification of some points raised by the new policies. Mr. White has taken over the duties for this file from Valerie Kilfoil, who was our former contact at the Department.
One of the things we wanted to know was which Department of government is responsible for children who are travelling to extra-curricular events? These children are travelling, after all, to school organized and supported events. We know that the Department of Transportation is inspecting and maintaining the new vehicles, then charging the schools - not the Department of Education, but the actual schools who fundraise for these buses - for the costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the multifunctional buses.
We reiterate. The Department of Education does NOT pay for the inspection and maintenance. The schools have to fundraise to pay for their operation, inspection and maintenance.
So not only does the Department of Education NOT own the new multifunctional buses, but they are not responsible for the students either when they are attending extra-curricular events.
"Sports isn't part of the curriculum" we were told by Department of Education spokesperson, Ron White.
What do you think of that?
If the Department of Education doesn't own the vehicles who does? Do the schools own them? What's the structure? Is it another situation like before, with for-profit companies like Bathurst Van Inc.? We want to know who owns these vehicles.
And if the Department of Education is not responsible for students travelling to school related, extra-curricular events, then who is???
It's a pretty simple question. Can we get a simple answer?