VICTORIA — The B.C. government has been busy reacting to Greyhound Canada's announcement Monday that it plans to suspend its operations in Western Canada effective this October 31.
In a teleconference this afternoon, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said Greyhound's decision caught the government by surprise and said it would have "a severe impact on B.C. and other provinces."
"My ministry has convened a meeting with our counterparts (provinces) across Western Canada. We'll be talking Thursday about ways we can work together. It's not just a B.C. problem, it's a Canada problem."
She said Victoria will also be talking to service providers to ensure people have "safe, reliable transportation."
"A lot of people rely on good bus service because they don't have a lot of money. Many vulnerable people will need to have some bus service. It's going to be one of the things we'll be dealing with before October 31. We'll be working to fill the gap Greyhound is leaving."
Trevena added the business model Greyhound has been using "was not working for the people of B.C." adding it clearly wasn't "serving people's needs."
She said it's her hope that some providers will be able to fill the void Greyhound will be leaving.
Asked if Ottawa has a role to play in the situation, Trevena said "yes."
"I will be talking with my federal counterparts to ensure that they do come into the picture though they haven't so far."
Greyhound said it was forced into their decision by declining ridership across Canada. The union representing the workers said up to 500 jobs will be lost.
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