Greyhound Canada, for decades a critical link connecting the country's small towns and isolated communities with bigger urban centres, is pulling away for good in the Prairies, B.C. and northern Ontario, leaving activists and Indigenous leaders fearing for the health and welfare of those who live in remote locales.
Effective Oct. 31, Ontario and Quebec will be the only regions where Greyhound's familiar galloping-dog logo continues to ply Canadian highways, save for a lone route in B.C. between Vancouver and Seattle to be operated by the company's much healthier American cousin, the company announced Monday.
"This decision is regretful and we sympathize with the fact that many small towns are going to lose service," said Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick.
"But simply put, the issue that we have seen is the routes in rural parts of Canada, specifically Western Canada, are just not sustainable anymore."
Northern Canada is sure to be where the impact is felt most deeply, said Sheila North, grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and candidate for chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte, the co-chair of Saskatchewan-based Women Walking Together, described Greyhound's decision as triggering a "northern crisis."