Pupils go to school in the snow groomer in a village in the Basse-Côte-Nord

News 27 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy
    The Commission scolaire du Littoral committed a driver for the groomer, pays for the gas and insurance for the transport of a dozen students of Baie-des-Moutons.

    Emy-Jane Déry

    Tuesday, 27 march 2018 13:26

    Tuesday, 27 march 2018 13:30

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    BAIE-DES-MOUTONS | A dozen children from a village in the Basse-Côte-Nord have to go to school in the snow groomer because the road to get there is not plowed in the winter.

    The village of Baie-des-Sheep in the Lower North Shore has 200 inhabitants, including a dozen of students from primary and secondary school. Since a few years, they need to go to the school at The roof top where they join some fifty other students.

    In winter, the parcel of the road 138 of 10.5 km that separates the two localities is not cleared of snow and becomes the “white road”. It is accessible only by snowmobile. The parents were, until recently, to ensure themselves transport their children to and from school with their snowmobile personal.

    In the past weeks, the groomer is coming into service after several months of discussions between the municipality, the parents, the school board and the ministry of Transport who were struggling to agree on a safe solution for transporting children.

    The snow groomer brand “Trooper” has a small yellow sign on which is inscribed “student”. A small staircase mobile wood has been constructed to facilitate the boarding of the children. The driver is in a separate cabin at the front. At the rear, there are 10 seats. During the transport, the children can communicate with the driver through a phone system.

    Heart ailments

    However, the road is not easy, and the instability causes the motion sickness to some of the children.

    “All the kids complained about it. There are a few who simply can no longer use it because they were sick systematically,” said Cindy Mansbridge, a resident of Baie-des-Moutons and mother of two children who use the grooming equipment.

    His youngest is 4 years old and does not have the same hours of school as the eldest daughter of the family, 13-year-old. Before the arrival of the snow groomer the situation was a real headache for the mother who occupies a full-time job.

    The prefect of the Basse-Côte-Nord, Randy Jones, has maintained the white road for fifteen years as a contractor. It was he who proposed the groomer as a solution to the various stakeholders in the folder.

    “The snow removal of the ten kilometers would cost him only about$ 500,000”, he says.

    The rental of the groomer would cost currently between$ 8,000 and$ 9,000 per month. The solution is to test it for the rest of the season.