Monday, November 29, 2010

Letter to Minister of Education Jody Carr asking for confirmation of meeting and reprimand of Superintendent

Jody Carr, NB Minister of EducationHon. Jody Carr
Legislative Building, Centre Block
P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1

November 29, 2010

Hon. Jody Carr:

I am writing to inquire whether you intend to reprimand District 2 Superintendent, Karen Branscombe, for her failure to insure the safety of children in her care as called for in the Education Act.

Specifically, I am referring to the incident last Wednesday, November 24, 2010, when Prestige Bus Service knowingly drove 60 students from Marshview Middle School in Sackville, NB 298 kms to Halifax, NS with bald tires. Superintendent Branscombe is ultimately responsible for the decision that led to this situation and should be held accountable.

Karen BranscombeAs you know, one of the jury recommendations from the May 2009 Coroners Inquest into the Boys in Red tragedy called for the reprimand of Department of Education employees who fail to fulfil their duties. This is one of the recommendations which was actually implemented by the Department, and I quote:

A process should be put in place so that persons employed by the Department of Education who fail to fulfil their duties as outlined in the guidelines, policies and regulations of the department are reprimanded. The reprimand should be recognized and serve as a reminder to other staff that they must do their job or be confronted with a reprimand or dismissal, if need be - Recommendation from the Bathurst Coroners Inquest, May 2009

Second, I am writing to ask when we will have our meeting. I had suggested Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 1 pm. I know you are a new Minister and just settling into your portfolio and while I understand that it takes time to do these sort of things I also want you to understand that I have been waiting three years since the death of my son Daniel for the state of school transportation safety to improve in the province of New Brunswick. When I heard about what happened last week in Nova Scotia my heart sank and I knew that I could wait no longer for an answer.

Therefore, I am writing to let you know that I intend to travel to Fredericton on Wednesday, December 1 and will be available to meet with you at 1 pm or later in the afternoon. Please do not make me wait outside the Legislature in the cold for one or two days as I do not plan to leave the area until I get an answer to my questions about the use of Class 2, yellow school bus drivers and yellow school buses for transporting students to extra curricular school activities.

You represent a new government with a clean slate and a fresh outlook on this issue. I want to work with you to improve the state of student transportation safety in New Brunswick and the first step is to meet and talk with you about how we can move ahead.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I look forward to your reply.

Yours most sincerely,

Isabelle Hains

Hon. David Alward, Premier
Hon. Claude Williams, Minister, New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
Hon. Robert Trevor, Minister, NB Department of Public Safety
David J. Johnstone, Deputy Minister, NB Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
Marc Leger, Deputy Minister, NB Department of Public Safety
Roger Doucet, Deputy Minister, NB Department of Education
Charles O'Donnell, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Dept. of Public Safety
Delalene Harris-Foran, President, CUPE 1253