Council of Canadians Regina chapter activist Jim Elliott travelled to our Prairies-Northwest Territories regional meeting in Saskatoon this weekend via an STC bus.
Yesterday, Elliott posted on Facebook, “I am taking what might be my last trip on an STC bus. It is bitter sweet. I am low income and without someone to take me there or flying, which is even more abhorrent than not going at all, this is likely the last time I will be able to get out of Regina. I do have a bike but it would take me 3 days to get to Saskatoon and 3 days back. This public service and crown corporation must continue. Fight the cuts!!!”
The “STC” refers to the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, a provincial crown corporation created in 1946 by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) government of Tommy Douglas. Its mandate is to provide bus services carrying people and freight between major centres and to as much of the rural population as possible. Its freight service is now scheduled to end of May 19 and its passenger service is to stop on May 31.
On March 24, CBC reported, “In this week’s provincial budget, Finance Minister Kevin Doherty announced STC would be shuttered after more than 70 years of continuous service to some 200 communities. Workers to cancer patients to seniors have expressed outrage.”
That article highlights, “University of Regina professors JoAnn Jaffe called STC an essential public service. She doubts a private operator will serve smaller communities or provide anywhere close to the number of jobs that are being eliminated. Fellow University of Regina professor Cindy Hanson said the closure will lead to more pollution and more highway damage if people are forced to drive cars and trucks. The poor, elderly or disabled will simply not be able to travel.”
Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Quill Plains (Wynyard) have been vocal opponents of the provincial budget that was tabled by Premier Brad Wall’s government on March 22.
They have also been speaking against Bill 40 (that allows for the privatization of 49 per cent of a Crown corporation without without requiring a vote of support from the people of the province) and Bill 63 (that allows the provincial Minister of Education to give written directions to school boards and force them to take any necessary steps necessary to comply with provincial government direction including how to implement the provincial government’s $60 million funding cut to schools).
To sign the petition that calls on the Saskatchewan Party to scrap its plan to sell-off the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, please click here.