Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Transport directly about the withdrawal of Greyhound from western Canada. The minister made time to appear before the transport committee, and I was grateful to have had the chance to tell him in person about how serious the lack of safe, affordable transportation is in Saskatchewan.
While the minister was gracious in giving his time to the members at the transport committee, unfortunately, many questions still remain, including my question in the House of last September directed to the lone Saskatchewan minister.
Since the shutdown of the STC, many women fleeing domestic violence have had to hitchhike or turn to Kijiji to get a ride to a shelter. It is unconscionable for a feminist government to know this and do nothing.
Last January, the Minister of Innovation told the House that his government would work with me to look for meaningful solutions to this crisis. To this day, I have heard absolutely nothing.
I suggested I ask the lone Saskatchewan minister this time what he would do to ensure people in Saskatchewan have safe, reliable public transportation. The answer I received that day was from the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, who said that his government would always be there for the people of Saskatchewan, and that there would be good news coming. He also said that I could come and see him or the Minister of Public Safety and his colleagues.
I have reached out to that minister, as well as the lone minister from Saskatchewan, to no avail, To date, I have not heard anything back from either minister, which leads me to believe that the government is very good at talking a good line, but when it comes to delivering on solutions, not so much. Take, for example, the recent announcement in response to Greyhound's withdrawal. For a full year after the cancellation of the STC, the government did nothing. It took the withdrawal of a private company for it to actually take notice of the growing transportation crisis in western Canada.
Fortunately for British Columbia and Alberta, those provinces have progressive NDP governments, which have already stepped up to mitigate the serious gaps in public transportation in their respective provinces.
Unfortunately for my province, Saskatchewan's provincial government decided to shut down the STC. The silence from the Saskatchewan Conservative MPs on this issue is deafening. It is unfortunate that when it comes to standing up for safe, affordable transportation, it appears politics trumps the needs of communities and constituents.
Have we actually heard anything from the Minister of Public Safety, who is from Saskatchewan? Sadly, no. The safety of women and children fleeing domestic violence must be made a priority by the Minister of Public Safety.
People in my province relied on STC to get them to medical appointments, to work and to school, to run their businesses and to connect them to friends and family in other parts of the province and Canada. People in northern, rural and remote areas especially need this safe, affordable mode of transportation. Surely, there is a role for the federal government's leadership and real investment when such a serious gap exists.