Foster receives failing grade for bus remarks

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster is drawing fire for education funding

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster is drawing fire for education funding.

The NDP have criticized Foster for comments he made about an Echo Lake resident that has to drive his children 17 kilometres to the nearest bus stop to get to school in Lumby because the Vernon School District has eliminated buses travelling there.

“Mr. Foster is plain wrong to tell his constituents – parents and kids – that cuts to school bus service has nothing to do with his government,” said Rob Fleming, NDP education critic.

“The fact is, this cut has everything to do with the B.C. Liberals slashing $54 million from school districts from the provincial budget.”

During a Morning Star interview Oct. 25, Foster stated that busing is the school district’s responsibility.

“They make changes in busing and we don’t interfere in their operations,” he said.

“It’s their call. He (resident) needs to deal with the school district and not me.”

Foster was not impressed with the NDP’s press release.

“Mr. Fleming is entitled to his opinion and his way of doing math,” said Foster, adding that while school districts were asked for $54 million in administrative savings, the teachers’ contract has led to $421 million being put into the system over three years.

Foster also pointed out that increased enrolment in the Vernon district will add to funding levels.

“School districts have a budget and they must live within it. The calls (decisions) are theirs to make,” he said.

“They know better what to do with the money than someone in Victoria.”