Friday, January 8, 2010
Roland Hache, Minister of Education MISLEADS By Making Up New Category of Student Vehicle So He Can Put Mixed Tires On MFAVs
What part of the word "BUS" does the Minister of Education not understand?
We received this letter on Thursday, January 7, 2009 from the Minister of Education, Roland Hache (that's him at the right), regarding our November 30, 2009 request for information on the Department's dealings with Transport Canada and the use of winter tires on the fleet of Multi-Function Activity Vehicles (MFAVs)
(Click here to read our letter to Minister Hache of November 30, 2009).
We didn't expect the Minister of Education to answer us by making up a new category of vehicle that doesn't exist anywhere in the Department of Education's Act, its Regulations, or Policies.
We also didn't expect him to say that the so called tire policy for MFAVs has been working perfectly "for years" when the truth is the MFAVs are a brand new addition to the fleet and their tires have never been scientfically tested by anyone in Canada, least of all, the Province of New Brunswick's engineering consultants who get paid for their opinions. (Read letter from Gary Spencer, DOT to Michelin Tires in which he says the MFAVs are new to the fleet and have never been scientifically tested... and oh... he calls them a "bus" ten times)
(Click here to read David Hoar's report to the Department of Transportation about the use of mixed tires on MFAVs - which he also mistakenly calls "buses".)
Minister Makes Up New Category of Vehicle
There are four points in his letter that give us immediate cause to believe he is simply parroting what he is being told by his bureaucrats and consultants who are basing their recommendations on false information that they appear to have made up, because it's nowhere in the Policies 512 and 513 which they love to cite as their Bible. Either that, or they're just ignoring the Regulations and Policies of the Education Act what don't fit their view of the world.
We're surprised the Minister would write us a letter that is so full of holes and contradicted by his own Education Act as well as employees of his own government who say the opposite in their correspondence with experts in the field.
1. First, he calls the MFAV a "bus" when the MFAV is not a "bus". As explained in previous blog posts, according to Policy 512 only one kind of school vehicle can be called a "bus" and it's a "yellow school bus". In comparison, the MFAV is an "Extra Curricular Activity Vehicle" and does not fall under the Pupil Transportation Regulations of the Education Act. As such, the MFAV is not required to undergo the same rigourous standards when it comes to tires.
2. He appears to have made up a new category of vehicle, calling the MFAV a "extra-curricular bus". We're sorry to have to inform you of this Mr. Hache, but you can't just make up a new definition for a vehicle being used to transport children to extra curricular events. That's a No No.
3. He says that the "existing bus tire policy has provided years of safe and reliable transportation". Well, yes, that's true..... on YELLOW SCHOOL BUSES. But as we all know, and as his own Regulations and Policies under the Education Act clearly state, the MFAV is NOT A BUS. In fact, since it's so new to the provincial fleet, there was no policy for MFAV tires.
4. AND to imply that the policy has "provided years of safe and reliable transportation" on MFAVS is an outright LIE. Mr. Hache, if you read your correspondence, you will see that Gary Spencer, Assistant Director, Vehicle Management Agency of the Department of Transportation wrote in a letter to Michelin Tire on November 24, 2009 (click here to read full text of letter), that these MFAVs are a NEW addition to the provincial fleet for which a tire policy did not exist so you just applied the yellow school bus tire policy to the MFAVS.
HOW COULD THE TIRE POLICY BE WORKING FOR YEARS WHEN THE MFAVS ARE A NEW ADDITION TO THE FLEET.
MR. MINISTER. PLEASE TELL THE HIGHLY PAID CIVIL SERVANTS WHO WRITE YOUR LETTERS FOR YOU TO PLEASE STOP MISLEADING THE PUBLIC AND STOP MAKING THINGS UP BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!
Here's his letter:
Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2010 11:05 AM
Subject: Winter tires
Dear Mrs. Haines and Mrs. Kelly:
Thank you for your recent letters concerning the use of winter tires on 21 passenger MFABs.
As you are aware, we continue to work with our consultant and other departments to obtain information from Transport Canada to confirm their opinion that, based on adequate testing at highway speeds, winter tires should be used on the steer axle of rear wheel drive extra-curricular vehicles.
Until we receive a response from Transport Canada, the existing tire policy for rear wheel drive extra-curricular buses will continue. The existing bus tire policy has provided years of safe and reliable transportation and any change to this policy must be carefully considered before being changed, if indeed any change is required.
c. Premier Shawn Graham
Honourable Denis Landry, Minister of Transportation