Waiting for reply on next steps for party buses

Writer says she is disgusted by the B.C. transportation minister's lack of response about party buses.

Editor, The News:

Re: Booze-soaked party buses get warning from B.C.’s transportation minister (mapleridgenews.com, March 21).

I am still waiting for confirmation from Minister of Transportation Mary Polak’s office about next steps. She met with the party bus owners/operators March 21.

I had asked if Danielle, my daughter, and I could attend and we were told clearly no, that the meeting was for owners/operators only.

The day following the meeting, a representative from the minister’s office called me and provided a summary.

At one point during our phone conversation, she was recounting a story shared by one of the party bus company owners and began laughing when relaying the story to me.

Although she found the story funny, I on the other hand was of a differing opinion. She also stated they will wait for whatever recommendations happen from the coroner’s inquest into Ernest Azoadam’s death.

Before closing the conversation, I asked if changes to the industry were a priority for Polak and her ministry. After a somewhat pregnant pause I was told “yes”.

The following day I made a call to this same representative to extend an olive branch for my heated discussion. I was told she would call me back later that day – I am still waiting – that was March 22.

I sent an email to the Ministry of Transportation’s communications  to get a commitment about next steps. I also placed a phone call to her – I am still waiting for a commitment from Mary’s office.

As the mother of a dead child whose death is attached to activities on a party bus, I want to have presence in the process to ensure that victims’ rights and families of victims were going to be represented. There is little to no appetite from the ministry to allow Danielle or myself audience.

The spotlight is on party buses now but soon complacency will set in and while Mary Polak sits in wait for the Coroner’s Inquest, the law of averages continue to roll and another incident will happen.

I am frustrated, disgusted and appaulled at the lack of response from Mary’s office.


Julie Raymond

Maple Ridge