Local governments across B.C. to enter passenger service debate

Delegates at annual convention expected to debate special resolution

Local governments across the province are expected formally respond to Greyhound’s departure from B.C. when they gather for their annual convention in Whistler next month.

Delegates to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention are to meet Sept. 10 for a special session titled: Not in Service. Greyhound Leaves B.C. Behind to discuss solutions and options.

The UBCM executive is also planning to introduce on motion for delegate consideration but its exact wording won’t be determined until the convention is underway.

Citing declining passenger numbers and revenue losses, the bus company first pulled out of northern B.C. this spring and then announced it was abandoning all service in Western Canada, save for a route between Vancouver and Seattle, as of the end of October.

The provincial government has so far started a subsidized service called BC Bus North in the north as an interim measure to replace Greyhound but there’s been no decision yet regarding the rest of the province.

“We are hearing that there will be significant impacts on B.C. communities as a result of Greyhound withdrawing service in Western Canada,” said UBCM president Wendy Booth in a statement.

“UBCM has met with infrastructure and transportation minister Claire Trevena to discuss the impacts on communities, and the need for all levels of government to work together to find a solution,” she said.

“The upcoming UBCM convention will provide an opportunity to hear more from local leaders on the effects of the Greyhound decision and what is needed in an effective response.”

The UBCM convention begins Sept. 10, lasting until Sept. 14.

The Greyhound resolution as crafted by the UBCM executive will be introduced for discussion and voting Sept. 12. Special resolutions required 65 per cent of delegates voting in favour in order to pass.

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