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

Balfour Golf Course ends 81-year drought at Boyd Cup

Balfour edged Granite Pointe and Birchbank by just one stroke

Nelson Leafs acquire forward Tyler Nypower

Nypower had 29 points last season

Four election forums planned for Nelson

The series begins with Candi-dating on Oct. 4 at the Nelson Library

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

The Star’s weekly news roundup

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read