Manitoba is going through a scarcity of faculty bus drivers, thanks partly to the pandemic – Winnipeg

With students returning to class in a few weeks, one of the many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is trying to prepare for the school year.

BJ Langdon, president of Tony’s Team Transport, says there is a shortage of school bus drivers, which could make it difficult to return to normal. While it’s not a new problem, Langdon said, it’s one that has definitely exacerbated the pandemic.

“We’ve had drivers who have had health issues in the past and they basically made it clear that it’s a great part time job, they love it, they love the kids – but the problem is they can’t afford to be sick will.

“They can’t be blamed – even if they are vaccinated, they obviously still don’t want this disease.

“I think we and other contractors will lose some employees. (We’ll lose) drivers who are a bit older … and just don’t want to risk it. “

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Langdon said although he is encouraged by Tuesday’s announcement that drivers are required to have vaccines, he is hoping for more provincial support, although he is unsure if that help will come before school starts.

“We know the prime minister is retiring and I don’t suppose much will happen until they appoint a new leader – and I think this is October – so we’re a little concerned that this might just be swept up gone, ”he said.

“We didn’t hear anything…. We hope that we can meet with (the province) and try to bring this discussion back to the table quickly. “

Capacity constraints on buses also play a role in the demand for more drivers, he said, as they have not yet got the final say from the government on how many children will be allowed on each bus. Depending on this decision, bus journeys to and from school could take longer for many students.

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COVID-19 – Manitoba Brings Mask Requirements Back, Requires Vaccinations for Some Government Employees

Langdon told Global News that he hopes the recruiting effort – especially after the vaccine requirement is announced – will help bring some new drivers to the team to replace those who cannot or will not return.

“We have pushed the recruiting process tremendously, we have certified, licensed trainers on the staff so that we can run our own courses if necessary,” he said.

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“It’s certainly a good job and I would encourage people to look seriously at it, if they even have three or four hours a day just to get out of the house.”

The province’s announcement on Tuesday means a return to mandatory masks in all indoor spaces and that government officials working with vulnerable people (including teachers) must be fully vaccinated or regularly tested.

“Vaccines are our protection from the fourth wave, vaccines are our protection from future lockdowns, vaccines are our way of getting our lives back,” said Premier Brian Pallister.

“Vaccines are our safest and only way out of this pandemic.”


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