Amherstburg councillor wants answers over controversial school bus decision
A bus flipped onto its side in Essex County on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Bob Bellacicco / CTV Windsor)
A few members of Amherstburg council came to Monday night’s meeting looking for answers from local school boards as to why buses were not cancelled last Wednesday.
But they didn’t get the response they were seeking from colleagues.
Coun. Rick Fryer was vocal last week – after busses were given the green light to operate in snowy conditions. There were four confirmed accidents involving school buses that day, with no major injuries reported.
"I just wanted them to come before us because the decisions that were made in the past week were obviously decisions that shouldn't have been made," said Fryer.
The councillor brought forward a motion looking for school board reps and the bus company to come before council -- and be prepared to answer questions regarding the decision-making process regarding whether buses run or not during inclement weather.
The majority of council didn't support the motion. Coun. Jason Lavigne argued it's not within the town's jurisdiction.
“I’m not on the school board, I’m on town council and that’s not in my jurisdiction,” Lavigne said during deliberations. “I don’t feel like bringing them here to reprimand them or justify how they do their business is in our mandate.
“If we would be more comfortable with getting a report, I would be comfortable with that. But I don’t feel that pulling them here for an inquisition is in our best interest or theirs,” he said.
Fryer tells CTV News he will continue to advocate for residents seeking answers – and his motion would have forced accountability to taxpayers.
“It’s a decision of council. I would like to see council support each other,” Fryer said after the meeting. “But in this decision it was obvious they didn’t feel it was important enough to have the safety of our children looked after."