Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Daily Gleaner: Letters to the editor "The real story can be found in government policies"

Click here to read original article in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner

Re: Bathurst tragedy

The movie that Dream Street Pictures wants to make about the success of the Bathurst High School Phantoms basketball team - after the tragic deaths of the Boys in Red - sanitizes the extracurricular policies of the New Brunswick Department of Education.

The real story is that the government of New Brunswick's policies of cutbacks and privatization since the 1980s led to the death of seven teenage boys in Bathurst on Jan. 12, 2008. No feel good "family" movie that tries to switch the focus to something else can change that fact.

In May 2009, a coroner's inquest into the Boys in Red tragedy called for changes to the way school children are transported to extracurricular activities. Since then, Isabelle Hains and other parents, whose sons were killed in the tragedy, have been fighting the Department of Education to use safer buses, with professional drivers and preventative maintenance, such as the department does for students during the school day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

These parents have been opposed every step of the way by the Department of Education and other N.B. government departments, including Justice, Transportation, and Supply and Services.

Now, it seems, the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport has granted Dream Street Pictures a quarter of a million dollars in tax credits to make the government of New Brunswick look good.

Dream Street Pictures, why don't you tell the real story and you can have all the tax money you want?

Get the truth out about what happens to our services after 28 years and counting of government cutbacks and privatization.

The real story is what the little people - the mothers and fathers of dead school children - have to do to change things and how the system protects itself by denying the very reality that is staring in its face.

It's a much better storyline than Bathurst High School Phantom's 2009 victory over the Campobello High Vikings in Double AA basketball.

Daniel M. Weston