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Peaceful disruption of bus operation planned in Port au Port

The province launched an online survey — www.ednet.ns.ca/bussurvey — asking parents and guardians about their experiences with their regional school bus systems.
The province launched an online survey — www.ednet.ns.ca/bussurvey — asking parents and guardians about their experiences with their regional school bus systems. - Contributed

Laura Hoskins of Port au Port East is that fed up with the 1.6 km family responsibility zone that has been imposed on school buses she is organizing a disruption of buses on Monday morning.

Laura Hoskins, the Port au Port East woman who is organizing a protest to the 1.6 km school bus rule, poses for a photo with her two sons Marcus Duffy, left, nine years old and Ethan Duffy, five years old.
Laura Hoskins, the Port au Port East woman who is organizing a protest to the 1.6 km school bus rule, poses for a photo with her two sons Marcus Duffy, left, nine years old and Ethan Duffy, five years old.

With two children, nine-year-old Marcus Duffy and five-year-old Ethan Duffy, attending St. Thomas Aquinas School and living 1.2 km from the school she has had to take on the responsibility of getting them back and forth.

She said she has sent messages to Al Hawkins, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and was told to be patient, that this issue was being worked on.

Hoskins said with nothing done since she first got at this at the beginning of the school year, it’s now time for action.

Hoskins said its time for those making these rules to quit blaming the local municipalities for the infrastructure that isn't in place for pedestrians.

She said in an ideal world, with sidewalks, crossing guards, and every motorist abiding by the rules and regulations of the roads - these small school aged children are not of a developmental age to be walking alongside public access highways alone.

Hoskins said the decision to enforce the 1.6 km family responsibility zone has left many families choosing between their employment and their child's education.

Hoskins said this is resulting in family incomes reduced and jobs lost, which to her is a conflict of interest between the two departments under Minister Hawkins.

She said in their town, the bus that services Fox Island River, Point au Mal and Port au Port East has a capacity of 72 passengers but is running at a capacity of only 20 students. She said that bus is paid for and there is no additional cost to stop and pick up the other students, for which there is lots of room.

“Every student should be on board. Pick the kids up,” Hoskins said.

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