October 22nd, 2020

Busing issue needs more info

By Letter to the Editor on December 21, 2019.

In response to the letter in your Dec. 14 issue by Jennifer Prosser, I agree the elected representatives of the respective school boards need to be heard; however, I question why city council should consult parents – should that not read all citizens and taxpayers, not just parents?

I also find the liability issue somewhat perplexing; however, I would note that although a great deal of the liability rests with the City, the bulk of that liability certainly does not rest with the “roads the buses drive on.” And, if liability is a significant issue, please explain why so we are able to assess where the risk should really lie. We hear a great deal about the concern with increased costs through the media and letters, and are expected to form opinion relative to the City’s intent but have little in the way of concrete information on which to base such opinion.

If school busing is not in a cost-recovery position for the City, then maybe the burden should rest with the school systems. To be fair, we need information (which in the redacted report is in short supply), not opinion based on perception and conjecture. So what, then, are the real issues?

Leo VandenHeuvel


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George McCrea

The real issues have been redacted from most of the report for KPMG as you have indicated. No one except a few will ever know the details. The answer I have been given through Councillor Coffman through information of the now departing City Manager Bramwell Strain, is that the reason for so much redaction was “competitive advantage”. Why would the report hold anything back if the City was in the process of washing their hands of the school busing. The City will not be competing with anyone. ???? If it is going to the private market should the city be protecting “competitive advantage’? Whomever goes after the tender will have all the information available anyway. I have seen the boards revenue and expense sheet within a week of the competitive advantage declaration.

Maybe full reports are in order on the taxpayers liability at the airport we just purchased from the county or the liability I see driving around town in a spanking new Crimson Dodge Truck with “THE WATCH’ emblazoned in large decals. Are these well meaning volunteers not exposing us to liability?? One can almost guarantee that should some incident related to various issues occurring that the City will not be free from liability at that point either.

What I see from the inside is 60 drivers, union due paying employees, part of the transit contract, whose union contributes in small ways to the NDP and not a single burp from the sitting NDP West MLA. Funny, as she was a champion of unions during her tenure with the AUPE. There is still time for her to get on board and demand some answers.

You are correct. More information is needed. A further question, are those current city employees who are positioned to administer, operate and maintain the school bus fleet now out of work as well on June 30/2020. For taxpayers who no longer have children and fail to accept the concept that education and its affiliated costs are a daily obligation of all society, I presume a fair number would be happy that 60 “parasites” have been cut loose. For those who have two or three children currently in the system and being unable to cough up the extra bus money that privatization will surely bring, they will now be clogging the roads with private vehicles. Then the uproar from the climate crowd will begin, followed by demands for another bridge, more traffic lanes, etc. From my point of view there is no solid financial reason or liability reason to change a fifty year strong agreement in two weeks without providing an opportunity for discussion with school boards, parents and taxpayers.


“Parasites” ??? Really?

George McCrea

That’s it. Hits all you got out of the comment. Small and narrow minded.

George McCrea

That’s it. That’s all you got out of the comment. Small and narrow minded.


Yes George, small and narrow minded. Lol