The Liberal Opposition is condemning the Higgs government for its decision not to participate in a grant subsidy support program that would allow Maritime Bus to continue offering its services to the entire province of New Brunswick.
“New Brunswick is the only Maritime province not to participate in this program and it’s resulting in significantly reduced bus services that people depend on!” says Daniel Guitard, Official Opposition critic for Transportation. “The Premier is once again refusing to help businesses affected by the pandemic and it is the people of New Brunswick that are going to suffer because of his reckless decisions.”
The routes that connect the three major cities have been modified, while the routes that connect to northern New Brunswick have been halted completely.
“While recreational travel is discouraged, people still need to travel for essential reasons and not everyone has access to a vehicle that can safely travel long distances or can afford to rent a vehicle.” Says the MLA for Restigouche-Chaleur. “Premier Higgs has no regard for the unique challenges northern or rural communities face. He simply can’t understand the realities of these communities and why services like public transportation are vital to the people who live there.”
While the bus system allows for travel, it is also a common way to transport packages.
“Transportation is a basic necessity and with the suspensions of via rail, the airports and now Maritime Bus, there is no means of transportation available for people who can’t drive,” says Guitard. “The economy will suffer, and people will suffer. The only thing that will not suffer is the Premier’s bottom line.”