Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CBC: N.B. mom renews call for travel changes, Three-year anniversary of Bathurst High tragedy

Isabelle Hains tends to the grave of her son Daniel Hains in Bathurst, New Brunswick, January 11, 2011.

A New Brunswick woman whose son was among eight people killed in a school van crash near Bathurst says she never expected to still be pushing for changes to student transportation three years later.

Isabelle Hains, whose son Daniel was killed in the crash on Jan. 12, 2008, wants the federal and provincial governments to implement two recommendations from a coroner's inquest into the tragedy.

Click here to read the original article on CBC News online.

"I really thought that the government would listen," she said Wednesday. "I really expected that the government would say the children are important ... and that they'd do what is right, but they still didn't."

Seven members of the Bathurst High School boys basketball team and the wife of their coach were killed when their 15-passenger van collided with a transport truck on an icy highway.

The team was returning from a game in Moncton, N.B., and was only minutes away from waiting parents.

Hains has been calling on the federal transportation minister to ban the use of 15- and seven-passenger vans for student travel across Canada. She wants only school buses or mini-buses — often referred to as multi-function activity vehicles — to be used.

As well, Hains is pushing for the provincial government to ensure that only professional school bus drivers operate the vehicles — not teachers, coaches, parents or other volunteers.

Tyler Campbell, a spokesperson for Education Minister Jody Carr, said there would be no comment from the department Wednesday out of respect for the anniversary of the tragedy.

However, Campbell said work is underway toward creating a provincial strategy on extra-curricular student transportation as promised in the Conservative election platform. He also noted that Hains has been asked to be a member of the committee to study the issue.

Campbell said the committee will also include coaches, teachers, students and the bus drivers union.

Click here to read the original article on CBC News online.