About two weeks before the Coroners Inquest into the death of our sons begins in May, we'll be meeting with a representative of the New Brunswick Department of Education to discuss our concerns and recommendations for improved transportation.
We decided that it would be a good idea to post our ideas for improving the system of transporting children to out-of-town, extra-curricular events. That way, everyone can see and discuss before the Inquest and then it won't be a big suprise when we announce our recommendations during our testimony.
Good Idea Number One
We have a suggestion that we believe should be seriously considered by the government as a permanent solution to the problems raised by school travel and perhaps this is something that both the Liberals and Conservatives will work together on to bring a solution to what we believe has become travel chaos.
We know that the Department of Education has all kinds of employees who are assigned any number of specialized tasks, from assistant deputy ministers to curriculum development, from teachers aides to learning consultants and communications officers. All you have to do is look at the Department of Education website and click on "employees" to see how many people work there and the kinds of jobs they do. Check it out, you'd be surprised to see how many employees there are at the Department of Education. Click here for Employees Directory
We believe it is time to set aside some funds dedicated solely to transportation safety. We believe there should be at least one individual whose sole responsibility is to gather all the information available on weather and travel conditions on days when school children are travelling to and from sports events. This person would be in contact with Environment Canada, Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, the RCMP and local police forces.
This office should be open as long as any students may be impacted by adverse travel conditions and have the exclusive authority to get students off the road including unscheduled overnight stays. This office must be neutral, act on its own decisions and separate from influences of any kind. The responsibilities would have to be clearly defined. and resources re-allocated, but it is an idea that is clearly worth discussing.