B.C. Conservatives urge constructive solutions in wake of Greyhound pullout

Scott Anderson blasts NDP and Liberals for not doing enough to address bus cuts

In the wake of Greyhound route closures, Vernon’s Scott Anderson, Interim Leader of the BC Conservative Party, urged the BC NDP to find innovative solutions to transportation for our province’s northern and interior regions.

Greyhound Canada announced that effective Oct. 31, a single route between Vancouver and Seattle will be all that remain of its routes in B.C..

“Since [Greyhound’s announcement], the BC Liberals have been too busy blaming the NDP to suggest any alternatives themselves, and the best the NDP has so far come up with is to urge the private sector to do something,” said Anderson, referencing a recent statement by Claire Trevena, the BC NDP Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

See related: B.C. bus service applications to be fast tracked after Greyhound pullout

Trevena met with Western Canadian ministers and representatives on Greyhound’s service withdrawal this week.

“[Thursday’s] meeting with ministers from Western Canada, and a representative from Ontario, was positive and productive. We recognize Greyhound’s surprise withdrawal will leave people with limited options to get around. Greyhound’s 90-day deadline for service withdrawal is extremely short for alternatives to be developed. We have agreed to write to the federal minister of transport to advocate for all Canadians who need access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation,” said Trevena.

“My staff have been in close contact with their federal counterparts to advocate for British Columbians who will lose bus service, and I have asked them to continue to work together.

“I hope local operators will see an opportunity to bring a badly needed service to the parts of the B.C. most affected by Greyhound’s decision. The Passenger Transportation Board will be moving new inter-city bus applications to replace Greyhound to the front of the line,” Trevena continues. “I am committed to sitting down with service providers, the private sector and local government, and will continue to be in close contact with my provincial counterparts, to explore what other options are available to keep communities connected.”

But Anderson demands the government needs to do more.

“Neither the NDP nor the Liberals have done anything while in power to pave the way for new, 21st century innovation coming to B.C.,” said Anderson. “Neither party did anything to prepare for private sector ridesharing regulation, neither party has done anything to prepare for the coming of autonomous vehicles, and neither party is prepared to offer solutions now that the interior and northern B.C. are stuck without a viable means of transportation. Instead, they’re squabbling like children over whose fault it is, something that’s especially rich coming from the Liberals who terminated BC Rail.”

Instead of raising taxes on the most efficient and effective form of energy, as both the Liberals and NDP have done, thereby driving up the cost of transportation (and everything else), Anderson urges the NDP to think outside its usual box and incentivize the private sector to supply alternate forms of transport through transportation tax breaks and a loosening of the regulatory burden.

Anderson suggests a hybrid approach, easing the way for the private sector to fill the transportation gaps in a way that makes fiscal sense.

“For example, Flair and Swoop are booming in Abbotsford, and short haul flights make sense for that area,” said Anderson. “They may not make economic sense for other areas, but other forms of transportation, including but not limited to private bus service, may be the answer for hard-to-service routes.

“We need a leaner, more comprehensive transportation plan for the future,” said Anderson. “Let’s leverage this century’s advances in communication and modes of transportation to allow the private sector, either through incentivization or public–private partnership to fill in the gaps. Right now all either party has done is put an increasing burden on transportation through various taxes and onerous regulation.”

See related: Vernon residents upset over end of Greyhound services


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Shuswap bottle drive to support pediatric cancer research

Young cancer patient doing her best to help others with the disease that hits one in 333 kids

Regional district directors’ pay conflict resolved in new bylaw

11th-hour attempt for more by CSRD electoral area directors fails

Race is on for Shuswap late-run sockeye salmon

New estimates say about 750,000 sockeye will spawn on the Adams River, similar to 2014 dominant run

In photos: Ready, set, roll!

Friendship Day Soap Box Derby excitement in downtown Salmon Arm

Iconic Shuswap sternwheeler undergoing work for return to service

Sicamous business owner Mike Helfrick hopes to offer dinner tours on historic vessel

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Don’t feed birds in the parking lot

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Most Read