February 7th, 2024

"Student safety at Risk” - NDP urges Ford to rethink poorly planned transportation formula affecting Northern Students

QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP Education Critic Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West—Nepean) and MPP Lise Vaugeois (Thunder Bay–Superior North) are sounding the alarm after the Ministry of Education announced that they are drastically cutting student transportation services in Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay Student Transportation Services announced last week that the Ford Conservatives instructed them to double the distance requirements for students eligible for bus services to save costs.

“Minister Lecce’s decision to drastically cut student transportation to save money at the expense of our children is unacceptable. It is yet another stealth attack on our public education system,” said Vaugeois. “In many parts of our community, we don’t even have sidewalks. What happens when small children have to walk for 40 minutes in -30-degree weather? Our community cannot afford any more deaths involving pedestrians and motor vehicles. The Conservatives need to immediately reverse this decision, work with parents and school boards, and ensure that schools are funded appropriately.”

“The Ford government has created chaos for families and school boards across the province with their poorly planned changes to the transportation funding formula,” added Pasma. “Boards are facing significant deficits, parents are being forced to arrive late and leave work early to pick kids up, and small children are being forced to walk long distances. What’s happening in Thunder Bay is a prime example of how out of touch the Conservatives are with reality of students and families across the province.”