PICTOU - Progressive Conservative Education critic Pat Dunn says the Liberal government has a responsibility to ensure all students get to school safely despite the CUPE strike in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
On Sunday evening, CUPE workers rejected the latest offer from the CCRSB. Strike action began Monday leaving families with no school buses to pick up their children.
"Students and families deserve answers," said Dunn in a press release issued early Monday morning. "Social media sites are buzzing with parents worried about how they will get their children to school and the impact of the strike on the students' education. What is the minister's plan for these families?"
Dunn says Education Minister Karen Casey didn't mind sharing her plan in 2008 when there was a threat of a bus strike in the Halifax Regional School Board.
"We will make sure that students get to school," Casey told the media in 2008. "We have neighbouring provinces that if in a crisis we can go there..."
"Where is the minister today?" asked Dunn. "She should be making sure the students in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board get to school safely."
Dunn says that while all families will feel the impact, he is especially concerned about the Grade 12 students who are writing exams this week.
"As a teacher and a parent myself, I know this set of exam marks are crucial for students applying to university and college and for scholarships," he said. "These are the very young people we are counting on to grow our province and our economy, yet many of them don't know how they will even get to school tomorrow. It's a shame."
According to the contingency plan, all busing within the school board will stop and only emergency building maintenance will be performed. Schools will be open only one hour before and after school. All extracurricular activities are also cancelled and schools will no longer be available for use for non-school groups after hours.