The Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) is a non-profit association providing advocacy and education services for the owners of school bus fleets, school boards/transportation consortia and supplier/manufacturer companies across Ontario.  
March 30, 2015 - Issue 7

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Inside this Edition:
  1. New Brunswick Education Minister Angry After Learning French and English Students Have Been Sharing A School Bus
  2. Reminder: DCP Updated Training Curriculums Due March 31st
  3. Valuable Learning Opportunities at OTE
  4. MTO Considers Upping Collision Reporting Threshold to $2,000
  5. OSBA Extends Condolences to Founding Member
  6. Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage
  7. Upcoming Events
New Brunswick Education Minister Angry After Learning French and English Students Have Been Sharing A School Bus

Reprinted From: The National Post
Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015
Article Written By: 
Tristin Hooper

In a sign of how touchy bilingualism issues can get in New Brunswick, the province’s education minister has vowed to take action after learning French- and English-speaking students have been travelling on the same school bus.

Under a long-standing policy the provincial government claims it is constitutionally mandated to provide separate buses for anglophones and francophones.

Dominic Cardy, leader of the provincial New Democratic Party, disagrees.

“A local-level compromise — that was apparently entirely agreeable to the parents and the community — is now being ditched because someone is playing politics,” he said.
“I think it’s a really unfortunate way to handle it.”
This month, Mr. Cardy attracted fierce criticism for suggesting New Brunswick look at cutting costs by allowing the students to take the bus together.
On Thursday, the NDP said shared busing was already the norm at a school district in Richibucto.
The government, however, responded by immediately promising to stamp out what it dubbed an “administrative anomaly.”
In a statement to the National Post, Serge Rousselle, the education minister, said he has directed his department “to resolve this matter as soon as possible, and staff are already working on a solution.”
The bilingual bus spat comes just as New Brunswick is planning drastic cuts to education to patch a $500-million hole in its budget. This could include laying off teachers.
The government’s position is that shared buses would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although the Charter says nothing specifically about school buses, Mr. Rousselle has said the province is “required to have an education system where the francophones can live in a complete French environment.”
As proof, he has cited a 2000 Supreme Court of Canada decision in which Summerside, P.E.I., was ordered to build a French immersion school rather than force francophone children to be bused to a French school nearly an hour away.
Oddly, the decision actually states explicitly that schoolbuses should not be considered “educational facilities.” As such, that would appear to place them outside the realm of the Charter, which mandates “minority language educational facilities.”

‘A local-level compromise — that was apparently entirely agreeable to the parents and the community — is now being ditched because someone is playing politics’

This is the position of Mr. Cardy, who told the National Post, if separate buses “are not clearly protected rights, what is the harm in looking at them?”

The education ministry policy might explain why busing costs are so high in New Brunswick.
A January report by the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies raised alarms these costs were rising disproportionately, citing separate buses as a cause.
“Few politicians or school officials have dared to even ask if the sharing of bus services, on a larger scale, might result in significant savings to provincial taxpayers,” it said.
In the 2014-15 school year, New Brunswick will spend $64.8-million to bus 90,000 students, or about $720 for each student.
As Canada’s only officially bilingual province, New Brunswick has been on edge lately over the official policy of “duality.”
In February, Fredericton mayor Brad Woodside attracted severe francophone criticism for tweeting, “bilingualism I understand, duality makes no sense … this should be on the table Mr. Premier as we look to save money.”
Mr. Cardy’s criticism of the dual busing policy has drawn criticism from the federal wing of his party.
In an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Yvon Godin, a federal NDP MP, warned he “should not touch the issue with a 10-foot pole.”
“It’s not a good idea, it’s not acceptable and the francophones will not accept it.”
Reminder: DCP Updated Training Curriculums Due March 31st

As previously reported in OSBA News, the deadline for Recognized Authorities (RA’s) to submit their updated training curriculum to MTO is March 31st.  The Ministry had previously set the date as September 30th but it was extended last fall to March 31st of this year.  RA’s who have submitted their curriculum to MTO should continue to use their existing curriculum until the new one is approved by the Ministry. We checked with MTO who informed us they are reviewing the curricula as they come in and that it typically takes about six weeks for the review, however, it may take longer in view of the large number of submissions now arriving.  If an RA is not going to meet the March 31st deadline, they should notify the Ministry in writing as soon as possible. The letter should be sent to: Linda Jefferson-Kotack, Manager – Evaluation and Training Office, Bldg. A, Lower Level Room B-051, 1201 Wilson Ave., Downsview, ON M3M 1J8.
Valuable Learning Opportunities at OTE

The Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) is just around the corner – April 12-15 – and there are a number of powerful workshops designed specifically for the school bus industry.  Register for one day if you can’t attend the entire conference.  Take a look at these important educational forums:
  • Determining Collision Preventability
  • Transporting Students with Autism
  • State of the Nation in the School Bus Industry
  • Bus Driver Recruitment and Retention Ideas and Practical Tools
  • Will Your School Buses Pass a CSA D250 Inspection?
  • MTO Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch Update
  • Avoid Getting Trapped at Protected Railway Crossings
  • Hours of Service Regulations “Tune Up” for School Bus Operators
  • MTO’s Driver Certification Program (DCP) – Key Implementation Dates, Issues and Challenges
  • How to Get Your Drivers to Do It Right the First Time, Every Time
See the complete conference program-at-a-glance:

Registration at the following link:
More info: or 416.695.9965 Ext. 6
MTO Considers Upping Collision Reporting Threshold to $2,000

MTO is considering increasing the “property damage only” collision reporting threshold from the current $1,000 to $2,000. A summary of the proposal has been posted on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry website in English and French at:

This posting is open for the public to comment for a period of 45 days and will close on May 4, 2015.

OSBA members can provide comments and can share the link with anyone they feel may be interested in providing feedback for the ministry to consider, as part of the development of this proposal.

Alternatively, responses can be sent to Abdul Malik, Safety Policy Advisor, at
OSBA Extends Condolences to Founding Member

It is with great sadness that OSBA advises Floyd Sinton passed away on Tues. March 17, 2015.  Floyd was a pillar of the Ontario school bus industry and his home community of Simcoe County.  With busing in his blood for over six decades, Floyd was recognized as one of the founding members of the Ontario School Bus Association and was awarded an Honourary Life Member.  Floyd epitomized the school bus industry as a hardworking, well respected, enterprising businessman committed to student safety.  He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who cared for everyone who worked for Sinton Transportation, many who never worked for anyone else.  Floyd gave back to his community in so many ways since he began working at age 16.  When Floyd sold the company to Landmark Transportation in 2013, he said “ we proudly gave all we could to the industry trying to improve it for our employees and the communities we served.”  OSBA’s thoughts and prayers are with Floyd’s wife Barb and her family.
Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage

Ontario is raising the general minimum wage from $11 to $11.25 per hour, effective October 1, 2015. Minimum wage rates for jobs in special categories (liquor servers, homeworkers, students, etc.) are also increasing at the same time. The increase is the result of recent changes to the Employment Standards Act that tie minimum-wage increases to Ontario's Consumer Price Index. This was recommended by the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel in its final report last year.
Upcoming Events

Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE)
Apr. 12-15, 2015

P.R.I.D.E. Program
May 24-29, 2015 -

OSBA Webinar
June 10, 2015

P.R.I.D.E. Program
June 7-12, 2015

P.R.I.D.E. Program
July 12-17, 2015 - CANCELLED
(Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Jul.10-26)

P.R.I.D.E. Program
Aug. 9-14, 2015 - CANCELLED
(Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Aug. 7-15)

P.R.I.D.E. Program
Oct. 18-23, 2015

OSBA Webinar
Oct. 21, 2015

OSBA Webinar
Dec. 2, 2015
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Contact OSBA:
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