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Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler welcomes the federal government's decision to investigate the need for seatbelts on school buses. 

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced in late January that a task force would examine the matter. Schuler says the issue needs full and proper study before any decisions are made. He notes this issue has been around for decades and recalls having debates about it when he was a school trustee in 1995.

"It's been around for a long time and it does get emotional. I'm very pleased that the federal government is taking a leadership role in this. All the provinces are involved, so we have a designate on that committee. I know some people are very frustrated that it takes awhile. But we want to make sure we get it right."

He says the committee will be looking at all aspects and reports regarding seatbelts in school bus accidents and what the recommendations were.

Some school divisions have expressed concern about who would pay to retrofit buses if it was decided to equip them with seatbelts. Schuler says it is far too soon to have that discussion.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves. We don't start looking at costs when we haven't even looked at the effectiveness. So I think we are going the right way. Let's first look at the effectiveness. Is this what we should be doing? Are they necessary? What would they look like? Are we talking just of one that covers over the hips or should there be a shoulder strap? So let's have a look at all of that and then, when a recommendation comes forward, then let's talk about next steps."

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