First Student Canada

First Student Canada is a major contractor of school bus services and public transit systems. A subsidiary of FirstGroup, the company provides services in Canada comparable to those delivered by sister companies First Transit and First Student in the United States. The component parts of the operation consist of the former Laidlaw services and subsequent new acquisitions by First Canada.

First Student Canada
SloganCaring for students today, tomorrow, together.
Founded2006 (purchase of Laidlaw)
Headquarters3221 North Service Road
Burlington, Ontario
Service areaCanada (nationwide)
Service typeschool bus contractor
public transit contractor

Operating subsidiaries


Laidlaw Transit Ltd., is a Canadian registered subsidiary[1] which operates former Laidlaw school transportation services throughout Southern Ontario.

Farwest Group

The Farwest Group of companies provides transportation services in various communities in British Columbia. These companies were acquired by First Canada in 2004.[2] and are contracted to operate public transit services for BC Transit in Chilliwack,[3] Kamloops, Kelowna Region and the Central Fraser Valley.[3]


Several companies branded as "Cardinal" operated school buses in different locations across Canada. In 2005, Firstbus Canada acquired 471136 B.C. Limited and Cardinal Transportation B.C. Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia and Cardinal Coach Lines Limited and Focus Capital Inc., Calgary, Alberta and Cardinal Coach Lines (Ont.) Ltd., North York, Ontario.[4]

King Transportation

King Transportation Ltd., is a Winnipeg based company that provides school bus transportation, special education transportation services,[5] charter and maintenance services. The company was acquired by FirstBus Canada in 2008.[6]

2014 Calgary Controversy

In February 2014, the company was subject to criticism after it fired Kendra Lindon, a school bus driver after she used her own vehicle to pick up children from her route after her bus failed to start. Due to the extremely low temperature (-26 degrees Celsius), and due to the failure of her dispatch to send replacement buses on the previous day, Lindon decided that "it wouldn’t be right" to leave children out in the cold and feared they might suffer frostbite, since many were not properly dressed for such cold weather. Upon learning of Lindon's actions, the company immediately terminated her employment, on the grounds that it was "against company policy to pick up children in a personal vehicle." Lindon defended her decision, stating that "I was not acting as a bus driver at that point, but as a concerned parent...I saw these kids I’ve known since they were five. I was acting as a parent and a concerned neighbour and friend. I couldn’t just drive past them and leave them to freeze."[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

When contacted by Licia Corbella of Postmedia News, the assistant location and safety manager, Mike Stiles, declined to comment and referred her to the First Student's Cincinnati headquarters, which did not return any calls for inquiry.[8] Three lawyers, who have offered to represent Ms. Lindon pro bono, have suggested that she may have a case against First Student for wrongful dismissal.[10]

School services

First Student Canada is a major school bus operator mainly in the Greater Toronto Area, Southern Ontario and Alberta.


School boards served by First Student Canada include:

Public Transit

First Student Canada is contracted to provide public transit services for many small communities across the country.

See also


  1. FirstGroup Annual Report and Accounts 2008
  2. Investment Canada Act, March 2004 Decision
  3. "Transit Management Company Approved". BC Transit. February 6, 2008.
  4. Investment Canada Act, March 2005 Decisions
  5. Winnipeg School Division, Student Transportation Archived 2010-02-28 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Investment Canada Act, Notifications - Acquisitions
  7. Calgary bus driver Kendra Lindon was fired for using her SUV to pick up children rather than let them freeze by Michael Platt, Calgary Sun, March 03, 2014.
  8. ‘It’s disgusting’: Outrage in Calgary after bus driver gets fired for picking up stranded kids in SUV by Licia Corbella, Postmedia News (reprinted in the National Post), March 5, 2014.
  9. Corbella: Driver thrown under the bus for protecting kids by Licia Corbella, Calgary Herald, March 5, 2014.
  10. Public support floods in for fired school bus driver by Amy Glass, Calgary Herald, March 4, 2014.
  11. Calgary bus driver fired after picking up stranded teens in her SUV, CBC News, March 04, 2014.
  12. Kendra Lindon, Calgary School Bus Driver, Fired For Picking Up Kids In Her Car, Huffington Post, March 5, 2014.
  13. Driver dismissed for good deed, Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary, March 4, 2014.
  14. First Student Canada - Calgary and Area, Commuter Schedule Archived 2010-03-24 at the Wayback Machine
  15. City of Kelowna - Transit
  16. Town of Orangeville, Transit Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  17. City of Orillia, Public Transit
  18. City of Prince Albert, Transit Service and Transportation
  19. Town of Tecumseh, Transit Service Information Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine
  20. York Region Transit, 2008 Draft Service Plan
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