Thursday, February 25, 2010

Letter to MLAs: Help us to implement the final recommendations from the Coroners Inquest

To all MLAS:

We are writing to ask for your support in implementing the final recommendations of the Coroners Inquest into the deaths of our sons, Daniel Hains, Javier Acevedo, Nikki Kelly, Codey Branch, Justin Cormier, Nathan Cleland, and Nicholas Quinn.

You have known since October, 2009, that we were trying to get winter tires on 21 passenger MFAVs , after we found out that Bathurst High School's 21 passenger MFAVs were outfitted with mixed tires. We asked for your support and to this day we have not received a single note or letter of support from one of you, both Liberal and Conservatives.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves, that you allowed children to be transported to extra-curricular activities in untested vehicles knowing full well that there was a dispute over the tire configurations.

It is an embarrassment to the government of New Brunswick that we have had to struggle on our own with no help from anyone in the government, both Liberal and Conservative. You are supposed to be leaders for us, the concerned citizens who come to you for help. Instead what we get is delay, deny, defend, deflect and finally, deceit.

The announcement about winter tires on Tuesday was OUR victory, and an honour to the memory of OUR sons. They are the HEROES, not YOU who did NOTHING while children's lives were at stake these last four months. Our children deserve a medal of honour because it was their deaths in an unfit vehicle with worn, scalloped tires, that led to these changes in transportation safety.

But there are still three more recommendations from the Coroners Inquest that remain to be implemented so we thought you would be interested in knowing that when we return to Canada we are planning a province wide tour to raise awareness of these three remaining recommendations that have not been implemented:

1) Class 2 Drivers
2) a Weather law
3) Student Councils should not have to pay for the purchase and maintenance of extra-curricular activity vehicles.

Isabelle Hains and Ana Acevedo outside the courthouse in Bathurst, New Brunswick following the release of Coroners Jury recommendations into the deaths of their sons. May 15, 2009.

We don't want to hear you say that you can't implement these recommendations because of money. What is the price of a child? We already know that $5000 for 28 tires is a small price to pay. Shame on you all. How much did the Department of Transportation and Education pay for the ill-advised opinion of Mr. David Hoar, the paid engineering consultant who said that mixed tires were safest on these vehicles, with no proof to back him up. We still don't know how much money was wasted on that, despite a Right to Information Request which has not been fulfilled to date.

We are determined mothers and all we want is safe travel for children. We know better than anyone else the effects of unsafe travel and we are never going to go away until the very last recommendation from the Coroners Inquest is implemented. Our boys will never be forgotten, because we're never going to let you forget until you as a government implement these final recommendations from the Coroners Inquest.

Work with us, not against us. You know how to contact us. We suggest that you do.


Three determined mothers

Isabelle, Ana and Marcella

cc. Media