Randy speaks on the McGuinty government’s failed school bus RFP process in the Legislature

February 27, 2012

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Today we welcome the Ontario Independent School Bus Operators Association. They’re here because the McGuinty government’s RFP policy still threatens the livelihoods of school bus operators in Perth–Wellington and across Ontario. They are small business owners, they drive children to school, and they drive our local economy.

In good faith, they have negotiated contracts with school boards under a process that has worked. What doesn’t work is the McGuinty government’s RFP process. Their policy ignores independent operators’ many years of cost-effective service, and it ignores what’s most important: their long history of transporting children safely. That’s what John Chapman and his company have done, and that’s what Sandi Ahrens and her company have done. They employ local people. Their drivers know our communities. They know the children that they drive to school and back each day.

The RFP moratorium expired December 31, and now independent school bus operators are left in limbo. Twice I have written the Minister of Education on this issue. More than two months after sending my first letter, I have yet to see a response. The minister has run out of excuses. We call on her to stop hiding the task force recommendations from the public. We call on her to fix her failed policy.