#Canada150 (Canadian politics and related issues)

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Jenny

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I'm really concerned about the news from Greyhound. This is a very big country, and profits aside, there should be a way for people to move, to connect. I thought I heard that the rail connection to Churchill, Manitoba has also been down for some time, rail companies refusing to spend money on it as it's not profitable. Bad news for indigenous peoples and others in remote communities, even in populated areas where folks rely on buses to get around affordably. You can't just say "so go live somewhere else" when we're talking entire provinces being disconnected.
 

Andora

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I'm really concerned about the news from Greyhound. This is a very big country, and profits aside, there should be a way for people to move, to connect. I thought I heard that the rail connection to Churchill, Manitoba has also been down for some time, rail companies refusing to spend money on it as it's not profitable. Bad news for indigenous peoples and others in remote communities, even in populated areas where folks rely on buses to get around affordably. You can't just say "so go live somewhere else" when we're talking entire provinces being disconnected.
I completely agree. For me, this is a situation where government really has to step in to serve its people where capitalism has failed. Leaving entire provinces unmoored is just not acceptable. Vehicles are cost prohibitive to many. Short of an Uber bus service, I'm not sure there's other options.

This Canadian notion of "live somewhere else" is pervasive against certain provinces, though. As an Ontarian, I've heard it all my life with regards to people out east when the fishing industry has suffered, the NWT and Yukon, Prince Edward Island in general, Quebec, etc. Never about other Ontario cities when industry goes belly up. Then it's all hands on deck to save it (Elliot Lake). Very frustrating.
 
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It’s a huge concern where I live in Northern BC. I know many people that use the greyhound often to travel between Northern BC towns. There are a couple of alternatives popping up so hopefully they’ll be sufficient.
 
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Jenny

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The thing is, it should be more than regional services where people have to make connections, and where there will be inevitable service gaps, and maybe for-profit enterprises trying to capitalize on being the only game in town. It should be a national network. Maybe it's my liberal thinking, but this is the kind of thing our tax dollars should be going toward.

And I live in a big city, but that doesn't mean I don't think people should be able to live where they want. Many people are deeply rooted to where they are, to their communities and their heritage, and moving would represent a major upheaval for them.

Transport, mail service, phone service, those are things people in first world countries should be able to count on.
 

WildRose

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Greyhound begged the Fed Govt for help, but they were ignored. Anyone who lives outside the few major cities in western Canada will literally no longer be able to travel other than by personal car. This government seems to think they can govern as though everyone can take a train, or fly wherever they need to go, that is not the case for large areas of western Canada.
 

VALuvsMKwan

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Greyhound begged the Fed Govt for help, but they were ignored. Anyone who lives outside the few major cities in western Canada will literally no longer be able to travel other than by personal car. This government seems to think they can govern as though everyone can take a train, or fly wherever they need to go, that is not the case for large areas of western Canada.
Ignorant USA citizen here - would it be feasible for the provinces and territories in western Canada to work together to establish their own compatible longer-trip highway-based transit systems, if the Federal Government is not helping sufficiently?

I realize that a national/Federal-based effort would seem preferable (to me, at least) and more comprehensive, but if that isn't going to happen, what choices are left?
 

skategal

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Uh....it's been this way in the Atlantic provinces for a very long time. The gap has been getting filled by small, regional bus companies.

If the Feds are going to prop up Greyhound (and I'm not arguing that they shouldn't) they need to support the small bus/taxi companies too.
 

pat c

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Greyhound begged the Fed Govt for help, but they were ignored. Anyone who lives outside the few major cities in western Canada will literally no longer be able to travel other than by personal car. This government seems to think they can govern as though everyone can take a train, or fly wherever they need to go, that is not the case for large areas of western Canada.
And that certainly explains the Sask Party and it's closure of STC last year. ;) Greyhound thru the prairies and it was only on the #1, was usually full. Not all the time, but quite often between say Calgary to Wpg. My kids used to take the bus home. The Calgary run quite often had to put on 2 buses going east and west.

:soapbox:
The bus closure in SK has made my blood boil for over a year. (rhetorical question) Why, instead of always closing things is there not someone in these organizations that can see that change could make things run better and more efficiently? Forget about the mega profits, think about the service it provides and be cost efficient too? Do you need honking big buses for every route? Think......think..........argh.

Ignorant USA citizen here - would it be feasible for the provinces and territories in western Canada to work together to establish their own compatible longer-trip highway-based transit systems, if the Federal Government is not helping sufficiently?

I realize that a national/Federal-based effort would seem preferable (to me, at least) and more comprehensive, but if that isn't going to happen, what choices are left?
We're too busy fighting about the pipeline to think about bus service. ;)

Seriously? There isn't much choice at the moment. Vision is required by all politicians and it's in very short supply these days. I don't know how that happened and why we keep electing people that can't color between the lines let alone make far sighted policies. The rail in Canada should still be very viable, but somehow we let that one slip away.

I could pull up another soap box, but I'll let it go. It's just so so disheartening that we are so willing to throw seniors, natives, physically/mentally challenged and poor people under the bus......oh wait........not the bus, we don't have that anymore. ;)
 
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The thing is, it should be more than regional services where people have to make connections, and where there will be inevitable service gaps, and maybe for-profit enterprises trying to capitalize on being the only game in town. It should be a national network. Maybe it's my liberal thinking, but this is the kind of thing our tax dollars should be going toward.
Oh, I agree with you. People don't really seem to be thinking that big though in local media anyway. So we're stuck with whatever can be come up with locally.
 
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Jenny

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Greyhound begged the Fed Govt for help, but they were ignored. Anyone who lives outside the few major cities in western Canada will literally no longer be able to travel other than by personal car. This government seems to think they can govern as though everyone can take a train, or fly wherever they need to go, that is not the case for large areas of western Canada.
If the Feds are going to prop up Greyhound (and I'm not arguing that they shouldn't) they need to support the small bus/taxi companies too.
I don't know the full history of this, but @skategal raises the first thing that came to my mind, and that's the slippery slope when you start supporting private enterprises. Everybody wants a turn at the trough.

There's also the question of Greyhound itself. What forced this decision? Was it something preventable? Were all options properly considered? Did they consult/work in partnership with the communities reliant on their service? Maybe they did all that, maybe they didn't. Maybe when they asked the federal government, they were not convinced that Greyhound had explored every option or that their goals go beyond increasing profits.

And it's not just about western Canada. Service in northern Ontario is also being cut, and of course there are very large areas of Canada that are equally challenged by connectivity.
 

skategal

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And it's not just about western Canada. Service in northern Ontario is also being cut, and of course there are very large areas of Canada that are equally challenged by connectivity.
Oh my...don't even get me started on connectivity. I could wax poetic on that one. :rofl:

But yeah, let's just say I agree. :respec:
 

skategal

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Re physical connectivity: The people of Newfoundland have to pay $500 to get their vehicles on the ferry to even get to Nova Scotia.

That's another longstanding 'hot button' political issue downeast.

And internet connectivity in Canada is terrible considering we are supposed to be an advanced economy. I know the Feds have invested in this area but so not enough.

The CRTC recently ruled that connectivity was a basic right for all Canadians. Let's see if there are more investments in the future. Cross fingers....
 

pat c

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The CRTC recently ruled that connectivity was a basic right for all Canadians. Let's see if there are more investments in the future. Cross fingers....
It certainly is something that is becoming a problem and an issue. Banking is depending more and more on cell/net banking, for instance. The one thing I observed when we travelled on the TransCanada to north central Ont and home again is how often I lost cell coverage. Now that is on a main highway, I can't imagine what it would be like in the northern portions of every province in Canada. As far as investing into net infrastructure from prov and fed govts? Too few votes in areas that are going without and very expensive in some areas to build the infrastructure to support it. I have no solutions, and I agree connectivity of all kinds are very important.
 
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Jenny

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Interesting. That one line they're cancelling in Ontario is a big one though - just looked it up, and it's a 1,700 km stretch - significantly longer than both Winnipeg-Calgary at 1,300 km and change, and Ottawa-Halifax at 1,400 km.
 

Lilia A

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Re connectivity: I was in high park not too long ago and couldn't find any cell signal. I can't imagine what it'd be like in a remote area.
 

skategal

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There's a dead zone right out my front door to up past the community mailbox (about a 2 minute drive) and I don't even live in a rural area.
 

WildRose

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Interesting. That one line they're cancelling in Ontario is a big one though - just looked it up, and it's a 1,700 km stretch - significantly longer than both Winnipeg-Calgary at 1,300 km and change, and Ottawa-Halifax at 1,400 km.
VIA rail used to follow that route that parallels the transCanada, but they moved further north and now service more remote communities in Ontario. CP owns the line now, but it still can carry VIA rail cars in an emergency. I’ve been on it when my train was rerouted because of a derailment on the main CN line. It’s a beautiful trip along Lake Superior, much nicer than the more northerly route. It probably won’t happen, but it would be awesome if they could work something out with CP to run passenger trains a couple of times a week along the more southerly route again. It could connect with the main VIA line after Thunder Bay.

And for what it’s worth, the Winnipeg - Calgary route may be shorter, but there are far more people along it.
 

skatingguy

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I think Greyhound as a company is in big trouble and they don't seem to have any solutions other than reducing service. They may not be eliminating service in Eastern Canada completely, like they are out west, but I'm thinking this company is gone within a decade. Just looking at the scheduling in Ontario they have reduced the service, even if they haven't eliminated the route entirely. My parents live in Lanark, Ontario and I went to university in Guelph 15 years ago, and I used to take Greyhound rural route between Toronto and Ottawa on a regular basis. At that time it ran at least 3 times a day, seven days a week, now it runs once a day - early in the morning - Monday to Friday.
 

WanderlustTO

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I'm really concerned about the news from Greyhound. This is a very big country, and profits aside, there should be a way for people to move, to connect. I thought I heard that the rail connection to Churchill, Manitoba has also been down for some time, rail companies refusing to spend money on it as it's not profitable. Bad news for indigenous peoples and others in remote communities, even in populated areas where folks rely on buses to get around affordably. You can't just say "so go live somewhere else" when we're talking entire provinces being disconnected.
Agreed - really big problem. VIA's coverage is awful and now you peel back bus coverage. Domestic flights in Canada are brutally expensive to begin with and, again, there's a huge coverage issue.
As you point out, the people who are hardest hit by this are the ones who are already in an economically disenfranchised position.
 
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Jenny

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I thought this said a lot about where the world is at, and where Canada stands at this point in time (from the Globe and Mail):

Jim Carr, the former national resources minister, was elevated to a new and powerful post of Trade Diversification, with a mandate to encourage Canadian businesses to look for export markets in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.
And that's not the only reference to trade issues/opportunities, plus Blair's elevation that includes deal with cross-border migration.
 

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