In late August, weeks before schools reopened across Ontario, the provincial government announced a major new investment in student transportation — a whopping $1 billion in funding that, according to Education Minister Stephen Lecce, marked the “highest investment in transportation in Ontario history.”
The announcement was welcome news for Hamilton’s school boards, which have long been plagued by school bus shortages resulting in cancelled routes and delayed commutes for students. For years, the boards and bus companies have struggled to recruit drivers willing to take students to and from school, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this problem, as older drivers at greater risk of contracting illness opt to stay home or find work elsewhere.
Standing in a colourful elementary classroom in downtown Toronto, Lecce assured the boards the funding would attract new drivers and keep the existing ones.
“When it comes to retaining talent, we’re going to be there