In Newfoundland and Labrador, the controversial 1.6 km of Local | News



A potential correction of concerns about 1.6 km of bus policy is being tested by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, but the repair is not fast enough for opposition members.

Hawkins
Hawkins

Politics has been controversial for many years, and protests took place at the beginning of the school year 2018-19. Politics means that students who live at a distance of 1.6 km from their school are not offered free bus tours to their homes or the nearest bus stop.

This year, a "courtesy stop" is being tested in the school district, which will see one stop located around a half-mile of 1.6-kilometer policy to reduce the number of students going all the way from school.

The debate was heated in the House of Assembly late last week as progressive conservatives urged the government to completely abolish this policy.

Education Minister Al Hawkins says the policy was controversial because he took over the Minister's portfolio from the outgoing Education Minister Dale Kirby, but politics is common across the country.

"Go to Canada, there is no province in the country that has a zero km policy," Hawkins said.

"That's why it's important to review, look and see what's best."

Brazil
Brazil

But David Brazil's Tory MHA says there's enough reviews.

The conservatives tabled a proposal from a private member who has asked the government to cancel Wednesday a matter on which the liberals have approved an amendment that calls for further scrutiny. As a result, the Torians voted against their own will; they believe it is time to act.

"It's rural and urban divisions – dangerous roads without sidewalks. In rural areas it's not just that they do not have walkways, they do not have sidewalks on the main provincial roads that go through communities."

NDP MHA Lorraine Michael

"The problem of 1.6 buses – especially in areas where there is a lot of traffic – is causing disaster for people," Brazil said.

"I ask (Hawkins) to come up with the solution that works, talking about another stop that offers very little, courtesy sessions is one of the key components that has begun to solve the problem."

Courteous sessions are offered to students at a distance of 1.6 km, provided they are busy. Parents can ask for seats for their children and if they have a place, they will be placed on the bus with students who live further.

Michael
Michael

NDP Critical Lorraine Michael agrees that there is enough study on the matter. In addition, it is concerned about the distribution of rural areas and cities over this issue, as the population density tends to make this policy easier in cities over rural communities.

"When I was a kid, I could walk along Lemarchant Road, Military Road, into my school, and the bus went this way – it did not matter," Michael said.

"It's rural and urban divisions – dangerous roads without sidewalks. In rural areas it's not just that they do not have walkways, they do not have sidewalks on the main provincial roads that go through communities."

Michael says the problem is not walking, it's security.

"I want our children to walk or bike, but they have to be safe. Where it's not safe, we have to be able to afford to take buses," she said.

Next steps to a 1.6-mile bus policy come in the next school year.

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