NDP Call on Manitoba Government To Show Leadership On Greyhound Closures

July 10, 2018

The Manitoba NDP is calling on the provincial Government to show leadership as the loss of Greyhound bus services will make it harder for rural and northern Manitobans to access healthcare and other essential services.

Yesterday Greyhound Canada announced it will be ending all passenger bus and freight services in Western Canada this fall. As the least expensive travel option for Manitobans, this closure will impact people from Winnipeg, northern, rural or First Nations communities who travel throughout the province. It is frequently used by northern and rural residents to travel to Winnipeg for health care. It is the primary transport for the Northern Patient Transport Program, which subsidizes northerners who travel to Winnipeg for medical appointments and surgeries.

“The Pallister government has made deep cuts to northern and rural healthcare and the loss of the Greyhound bus service will only exacerbate these cuts,” said Tom Lindsey, MLA for Flin Flon. “It means there is one less avenue for northern and rural Manitobans to access the care they need.”

“The Province needs to show leadership and make sure our rural and northern communities have access to transportation in the near and short term – we can’t leave our communities cut off” Lindsey said.

Last week the Pallister Government signaled his plan to privatize Lifeflight Air Ambulances. Lindsey argued the Premier should use Greyhound’s actions as a warning that private companies cannot always be relied on to provide essential services like health care. He noted that without Greyhound or Lifeflight, northern patients would be forced to wait for expensive, charter airplanes to access the essential healthcare they need.

“The loss of Greyhound will have a serious effect on the health of northern and rural families and it is compounded by the Premier’s privatization of Lifeflight Air Ambulances,” said Lindsay.

“When northern and rural Manitobans have less access to primary care, they are more likely to need emergency or critical care transportation down the road.”