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May 13th, 2021

Liberal government isn’t standing up for rural Canadians: NDP

NDP critic for transport, Taylor Bachrach, made the following statement on the Greyhound bus route closures:

“The announcement today is a huge blow for Canadians who depend on the Greyhound bus routes to get to work or to school. Many seniors use these buses to get to important medical or dental appointments in neighbouring communities.

The loss of all remaining Greyhound bus routes leaves many communities without affordable, safe passenger transportation. And it disproportionally affects the most marginalized residents, including Indigenous people and seniors.

The government has an obligation to ensure that people can safely get where they need to go. Sadly, the consequences of ignoring this responsibility have led to tragic outcomes for Indigenous peoples. The lack of affordable passenger transportation options has contributed to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, particularly in British Columbia where over a dozen women and girls have gone missing or been murdered along the Highway of Tears.

The federal government needs to take a leadership role in ensuring all Canadians have safe, affordable transportation options. This should include investments in inter-community bus and rail options. The BC government has led the way with its investment in BC Bus North, and the federal government should investigate supporting and expanding this model in other parts of the country.

For years, the NDP has urged the Prime Minister to find a funding plan that could keep Greyhound’s remaining routes operating to ensure that northern communities are not left stranded. But instead, the government chose to stand by and do nothing while the remaining routes were cancelled.

Without government action, rural Canadians will be increasingly cut off from jobs, health care and education, worsening the growing divide in rural and northern Canada.”