Monday, March 29, 2010

How Much Did David Hoar's Consultant Report on Use of Mixed Tires Cost the Taxpayer? We Still Don't Know Despite Right To Information Request from Three Months Ago

Motion Design Assoc.It's been nearly three months since we made a request under the Right to Information Act asking for the cost of the engineering consultant's report which recommended mixed tires on 21 passenger Multi Function Activity Vehicles (MFAVs). Click here to read our January 5, 2010 letter to both Minister Roland Hache and Minister Denis Landry for information about the payments made to David Hoar. Click here to read David Hoar's Consultant report (PDF format) and our posting on the issue dated November 27, 2009.

The report by David Hoar of Fredericton-based, Motion Design Inc., was all the province of New Brunswick had to cling to when it insisted mixed tires were best for these type of vehicles. Meantime, we had 14 tire experts from across Canada, including Nigel Mortimer of Transport Canada and John Mahler of, who disagreed with Mr. Hoar, but Ministers Hache and Landry refused to budge, putting all their faith in one consultant from Fredericton.

We all know what happened to Mr. Hoar's report - it was trashed when Transport Canada announced on February 23, 2010, that it had conducted winter tire tests and recommended only winter tires on these type of vehicles (something it had been saying to the Minister of Education and Transportation since November 2009).

Meantime, we're still waiting for an answer from Ministers Roland Hache and Denis Landry for an answer to our question about how much David Hoar charged the taxpayer for his consultant report which recommended mixed tires on the 21 passenger MFAVs.

It's been four months since he issued the report so surely, by now, he's billed the government for the work. With year end approaching (March 31), the Department of Transportation and / or Education will surely be asking him for the invoice if he hasn't submitted it already.

New Brunswick Minister of Education Roland HacheWe have a feeling that Mr. Hoar's work will closely match the $5000 the province ended up shelling out for the new winter tires which it so vehemently objected to from October 2009 - when we found out that the Bathurst High School 21 passenger MFAV was outfitted with mixed tires - until February 23, 2010. That's when Transport Canada proved Mr. Hoar wrong with its scientific testing, closely followed by our testing at Continental Tires in Michigan which further supported the view that winter tires were best on these vehicles.

When we find out how much David Hoar was paid, we'll be posting it on this site.

Another Right to Information Request about Who Knew What and When

New Brunswick provincial cabinet ministers, Denis Landry (middle) and Roland Hache (right) in a photograph taken in September, 2009. Landry and Hache denied to the Bathurst mothers and the media that they knew anything about Transport Canada's testing of winter tires on 21 passenger MFAVs.

We'll also be posting the results of another Right to Information Request about "who" in the Department of Transportation and Education knew "what" and "when" about Transport Canada's winter tire tests the week of February 15-19, 2010.

(Click here to see our March 4, 2010 posting on this "Did Ministers Delay Announcement by Five Days? Right to Information Request, This Time About Who Knew What and When")

We have a feeling that both Ministers Hache and Landry did know the tests had taken place even though they told the media they did not. It suuuuuurrrree looked suspicious to us that we only found out about the Transport Canada tests on February 23, 2010, about 15 minutes after we arrived at our hotel in Michigan where we had privately arranged winter tire tests at Continental Tires for the next day.

The Ministers of Education and Transportation knew for nearly two months that we were going to Michigan, especially after Minister Landry refused to conduct winter tire tests in New Brunswick, we felt we had no choice because the Department of Education was still using these vehicles with untested tires to transport children to extra curricular activities. With winter just settling into the province, we were very concerned about childrens' safety so time was of the essence. Our trip was well publicized and the Ministers knew exactly what we were doing because we kept them well informed.

So Ministers Landry and Hache, please don't humiliate yourselves by saying it was a "coincidence" that you just happened to release the news about Transport Canada's winter tire tests 15 minutes after we arrived in Michigan. We know better and so does the public.

It reminds us of that old saying:

You can fool some of the people, some of the time.
You can even fool all of the people, some of the time.
But you can't fool all of the people all of the time.