A close call for some southern Alberta schools - when a recent
diesel shortage almost led to the shut down of the Palliser school
coordinator Chris Pelletier said his nerves were on edge Thursday
afternoon when it seemed likely some of the 66 routes under his
control weren't going to be able to run this week.
“Two thirds of the
students probably wouldn't have got to school,. Now the kids probably
would have loved that. But the parents and teachers – they needed
them there of course,” he said.
The situation, which
Pelletier says was likely a first, was brought about by a fairly rare
set of circumstances. An explosion at a refinery in Saskatchewan,
coupled with a rising demand over the summer meant many suppliers had
to cut the school's transportation board off temporarily, in order to
be able to maintain their own emergency reserves. But a few
last-minute phone calls later, some suppliers told him they would
make his service a priority – which meant the buses were once again
ready to go.
Owners of the
Saskatchewan refinery have said they're now back on track with diesel
production, so Pelletier doesn't foresee further problems with diesel
levels in the coming weeks.