Another blow

Dear editor:
For the last two years, I have had the pleasure of busing various Muskie athletic teams to sporting events around Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota.
I have gotten to know many wonderful kids and coaches, and have enjoyed watching and cheering them on at their games.
So it’s with great dismay that I learned the bus company I work for no longer will be doing any of these trips, and that this work now will be done by a U.S. company.
This will result in the loss of five local driving jobs and thousands of dollars in lost fuel sales for local dealers as the U.S. carrier will buy their fuel in the U.S.
It also will mean a loss of parts and service that may have been purchased locally.
With the closure of the mill and the steady loss to the local tax base, this will be another blow to the town. My family and I always support local causes by giving money when kids are out “tagging,” or by buying tickets to games or buying the Touchdown Club cards, and may not be able to afford to in the future.
Parents on Muskie teams may want to find out if your drivers are following all rules and regulations in Canada and the U.S., and what training they have. All Iron Range drivers are required to have a yearly criminal background check and WHMIS, a defensive driving course, and a valid first-aid certificate.
They have to be approved by the board of education and also will have taken a 30-hour school bus driving course. In addition, we are subject to random drug-testing by the Minnesota Department of Transport.
Iron Range operates buses out of Thunder Bay, Dryden, Atikokan, and Sioux Lookout, and has agreements with other bus companies so that in the event of a breakdown, your children will be picked up and taken care of in a timely fashion.
I would ask what the new carrier’s plan is when the inevitable breakdowns happen?
(Signed),
Scott Wensley
Fort Frances, Ont.


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