Greyhound will live beyond November 2 to provide bus service in Manitoba.
The province met with senior Greyhound officials on Tuesday following a federal-provincial-territorial meeting in Vancouver on October 22. Both the province and Greyhound agreed to continue discussions on Greyhound’s future in Manitoba.
“We are committed to develop made-in-Manitoba options in the short term and we will continue to impress upon the federal government that national support is needed to fully maintain the level of service that currently exists in our province and across the country,” said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux.
Last week, Lemieux said a new working group had been formed to study the issue of bus service in Canada, but claimed at the time that he was not aware of Greyhound’s previous threat to pull out of the province in November.
While Greyhound may not be going anywhere just yet, Lemieux says a reduction in future service is likely.
The minister noted that as a gesture of good faith, Greyhound has agreed to continue selling tickets past November 2.
A national “working group” made up of deputy ministers will take a look at bus travel in rural communities after Greyhound threatened to pull out of Manitoba and Ontario several months ago.
Manitoba Transport Minister Ron Lemieux said today on a conference call with media that Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, John Baird, has recognized the troubles facing Greyhound and the importance to keep the bus service running throughout Canada.
Greyhound had previously said that after November 1, tickets will no longer be sold for their bus service in the province.
“There is no consensus with regard to any sort of subsidies for Greyhound,” Lemieux said, speaking from Vancouver.
In regards to any other bus line taking over should service be disrupted, there are no immediate plans in place. Caribou Coach, which services northwestern Ontario, may look at expanding into Manitoba should Greyhound pull out, but nothing has been confirmed.
Greyhound had previously asked for $15 million from the federal government to make up losses and prevent workers from being laid off. After the provincial government met with bus officials last month, layoffs were prevented.
Greyhound’s loss in Manitoba accounts for about $4 million annually.
UPDATE: Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux said late today that service will continue for Greyhound passengers and there will be no layoffs. Both the government and Greyhound are working on both short- and long-term solutions to fix the financial state of the bus line.
Staff and drivers of Greyhound in Manitoba are bracing for some grim news later this week.
It’s expected that about 200 employees of the bus line will receive layoff notices as a result of this month’s announcement that Greyhound will be cutting its service in the province.
Unless something drastic happens — like the government giving Greyhound $15 million — service will cease to exist in Manitoba on October 2.
Before any money is dealt out to Greyhound, officials here want a list of the unprofitable routes. Greyhound’s senior VP is in Winnipeg today to discuss the planned cuts and service disruption.
This is a shocker. Greyhound Canada will cease operations in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.
The company said today in a release that it’s giving 30 days notice to the Manitoba Highway Traffic Board. Ontario’s board will receive 90 days notice.
Greyhound is also reviewing operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
The reason for the sudden move is because the company is in a “dire” financial situation. According to Greyhound, the government is to blame.
After spending millions on the new bus terminal at the James Richardson International Airport, which only opened a few short weeks ago, it would be disappointing to see another vacant Winnipeg building.
Although, depending on what Greyhound decides to do, the terminal could be used to handle chartered bus traffic if there is a big enough demand.
UPDATE: A Greyhound spokesperson tells ChrisD.ca the depot at the airport will remain in use for courier and cargo service. It was also noted that Greyhound does not own the building, but has a 40-year lease on it.
Some horrifying ‘leaked’ photographs claiming to be of Tim McLean are making their way around the Internet today. The photos show the aftermath of the brutal attack on a Greyhound bus in July 2008 near Portage la Prairie, in which Vince Li mutilated the body.
ChrisD.ca received the photos earlier this morning, but will not be publishing them.
According to a source who works with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, they confirm that they are not of Tim McLean. We spoke to someone who was involved with removing McLean’s body from the bus, and they say the photos appear to be of someone who was hit by a train. A number of other inconsistencies in the background of the photos also made it clear that these are not legitimate.