Letters: ‘Mr. Dalton, please fix this’

The vote was unanimous except for school board trustee Ken Clarkson.

Editor, The News:

Re: Trustees vote to cut school buses (The News, April 29).

I attended the school board meeting late last month when they approved the budget.

There will be no school buses for the typical children in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district next year.

The vote was unanimous except for school board trustee Ken Clarkson, who refused to pass this budget.

Although we appreciate that this was a difficult decision for all of the trustees, we applaud Mr. Clarkson’s position to reject the budget.

He said ‘enough was enough’ and simply refused to say ‘yes’ to it

The budget did contain $100,000 for a before and after school care in some of the schools that will be affected by the school bus cancellation, along with a fund of $20,000 for desperate situations.

It also includes approximately $300,000 to continue to bus the 34 children with special needs.

Our “Save the Maple Ridge School Bus group” has two questions:

• Can you please tell us how exactly our children are supposed to get to school in September with no transit bus, no school bus and no safe way to walk when most of us are working families that leave for work well before school and get home well after it finishes and often work in the opposite direction of the schools?

The same applies for the before and after school care, as in order to benefit from it, the child has to be able to get there.

• Could you please share with us what your definition of “desperate” is?

Is desperate a family who’s mother is diagnosed with cancer and is forced to move because she does not know how her kids will get to school next year if she is in treatment?

Is desperate a family with two parents who work in other communities?

Is desperate a single mom with some physical limitation who is unable to drive?

Is desperate a single dad just trying to stay afloat?

Please clarify for us so we can share with members of our group as we have many who are in these “desperate” situations.

Shame on the Liberal government for putting children and families in this impossible situation.

Why did the B.C. government decide to remove the requirement to provide transportation from the school act?

Why doesn’t it provide funding specifically for transportation for those districts that the government knows full well that have families who live long distances from school?

MLA Marc Dalton, you need to fix this. Our kids are counting on you.

Pascale Shaw

Maple Ridge


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