Mr. Speaker, it was a week ago that I asked, for the sixth time, how the Liberal government planned to ensure safe and equitable access to transportation for people in Saskatchewan who had been affected by the end of STC and the pull out of the Greyhound service in the province. I have asked six questions and still no answers. I certainly hope I will get some answers tonight for the people of Saskatchewan.
Many people, particularly in rural, remote and indigenous communities are unable to travel to see family, get to work, do business in nearby communities, go to school or even access medical care due the end of STC and the Greyhound service in the province. Many indigenous women are unable to travel safely between communities.
I know the Prime Minister has not forgotten about the Highway of Tears and I know the Prime Minister does not think that indigenous women and girls should be walking on highways, hitchhiking or finding rides online from strangers instead of taking safe, reliable and affordable public transportation. Therefore, I am confused as to why the Prime Minister and his government are doing nothing to prevent this in my province.
ln his response to my latest question, the Prime Minister acknowledged the gaps in coverage that private transportation companies had left. He said, “We would encourage the member opposite to encourage the Saskatchewan government to partner with us...” l found that a bit of an odd response.
The Prime Minister seems to think that a partnership consists of simply splitting the cost. If there is no agreement on the cost, then there can be no agreement and therefore no partnership.
My response to that is that a partnership already exists. Both the federal and provincial governments are responsible for the safety and well-being of all Canadians, even ones who live in Saskatchewan. This partnership is permanent and cannot be dissolved because one of the partners is failing to live up to its own responsibility. However, the government does not seem to agree.
Instead of living up to its own responsibility to the people Saskatchewan, the federal Liberal government is content to do nothing and wait for leadership from its Conservative provincial counterparts before acting.
I have no confidence whatsoever that this leadership is going to come from the Saskatchewan Party in my province. Premier Moe and his Conservative government saw fit to actually get rid of a valuable Crown asset and leave people literally stranded in indigenous communities and rural communities.
However, this does not mean the Prime Minister of Canada has to do the same. Many people had hope that the Prime Minister and his Liberal government would rise above their Conservative counterparts and protect indigenous women and girls and seniors and those without the ability to travel independently.
The provincial government must answer for its bad decisions and it will, but why is the federal Liberal government abdicating its responsibility to the people of Saskatchewan? Why is the government failing to ensure that safe and affordable public transportation is available to the people of Saskatchewan as it has for Canadians living in other provinces?