Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend, the hon. member, and I hope her ear is feeling better after her incident.
Last year, Greyhound announced it would be discontinuing services in western Canada and northern Ontario on October 31, 2018. The federal government recognizes the effects these service reductions would have on communities, especially rural, remote and indigenous communities.
For decades, since the 1950s in fact, provinces have had a lead role in governing intercity bus services. As such, the provinces also have a lead role in determining solutions to Greyhound's withdrawal. However, given the scale, impacts and interprovincial nature of these reductions, the federal government decided to work collaboratively with the provinces and territories through a federal, provincial and territorial working group to determine the best path forward.
The deliberations from this working group were built into the federal government's plan, which was announced to the public on October 31, 2018. As part of this plan, the federal government announced that it would be willing to cost-share with the affected provinces in filling the service gaps left behind by Greyhound on a temporary and transitional basis. The federal government remains willing to cost-share with the affected provinces, including Saskatchewan, to restore these services. Federal money is on the table, and the member opposite' s provincial Conservative government is refusing to use it to help the people of Saskatchewan.
Although the funding announced on October 31 was mostly related to addressing the short-term service needs following Greyhound's withdrawal, the federal government also recognizes that intercity bus reductions have been occurring for decades. That is why the federal government will also continue working with provinces and territories to develop longer-term and more innovative solutions to address the surface mobility needs of Canadians. In the meantime, the federal government is encouraged by the number of private sector operators coming in to fill these gaps. We will continue to encourage their entry and to facilitate more coverage for Canadians.