Kenora-Rainy River MPP Howard Hampton issued the following statement in the Ontario legislature on the McGuinty Liberal government’s response to Greyhound bus services crisis in Northwestern Ontario.
Here’s the transcript from Hansard:
Mr. Howard Hampton: Just recently Greyhound bus lines announced that they were about to abandon bus service in Northwestern Ontario. Now, as bad as that announcement is, the response of the McGuinty government was even worse.
The Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Northern Development were heard to say, ‘Oh, this is not a problem. There will be local providers who will step in and provide the service.’
Once again, the McGuinty Liberals are missing in action when it comes to vital and important services in Northwestern Ontario.
The fact of the matter is Greyhound has been abandoning services in Northwestern Ontario for about the last five years. There has been little replacement of service by local providers, and where local providers have stepped in, in many cases, the service that is being provided is inadequate or impractical.
Imagine being a senior citizen living in the village of Rainy River and having to drive 100 kilometres to access the bus, or living in a First Nation community and not having a car and being told you have to drive 130 kilometres to catch the bus.
We’re not talking here about frills. We’re talking about people who need access to the bus to get to medical appointments in Winnipeg or Thunder Bay. We’re talking about basic transportation services.
The McGuinty government needs to act.