ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Personnel from the Ontario School Bus Association (OSBA) recently met with transportation and education officials in the province to discuss a variety of issues, including the association’s mission and goals.
Late last month, OSBA Vice President Doug Herd, Executive Director Rick Donaldson, Director John Chapman and Safety and Legislative Consult Dave Carroll met with Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli to talk about annual testing of commercial drivers over the age of 65 and Bill 118, which covers a ban on two-way radios that expires in January 2013.
They also discussed criminal record checks and vehicle safety standards for school bus drivers, and a Highway Traffic Act (HTA) loophole that allows retired school buses to remain yellow.
The minister confirmed that stakeholder consultations, including those with the OSBA, will begin this month on the annual commercial driver testing issue, and on Bill 118. Chiarelli also confirmed that the HTA loophole will be corrected at “the first legislative opportunity,” the association said in a recent newsletter.
Moreover, in a separate event, Donaldson met with Emilee Irwin, senior policy adviser to Education Minister Laurel Broten, to brief the minister’s political staff on the OSBA, its mission and its strategic goals. Officials said the meeting also provided Broten’s staff with the history of school bus negotiations, and the advice and recommendations the association has given to previous ministers.
Finally, on Jan. 30, Donaldson and OSBA President Gord Taylor met with Lisa MacLeod, MPP of Nepean-Carleton and Progressive Conservative education critic, to inform her of the association. The presentation covered the OSBA’s history, goals, a review of student transportation reforms, driver’s wages and ride time/student achievement.