“We know the closure of STC is hurting seniors, women, the disabled and medical patients, both financially and personally, but this government is sticking to its blind ideology over compassion and common sense." — Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
Regina (07 June 2018) — One year after the Sask Party shut down the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC), thousands of people continue to live with isolation and frustration without a necessary public transportation system.
Government elimination of transit service has left residents in the lurch
“Despite the Sask Party’s short-sighted assurances that private companies would fill the gap left behind by the loss of the STC, there are countless stories of people suffering without public transportation services,” said Bob Bymoen, President of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
The Sask Party announced in the 2017 budget they would be closing the Crown corporation and selling off the assets, despite the obvious need for the essential service for many rural and northern residents.
Now, many isolated Saskatchewan residents are being forced to rely on family and friends, or even taxis, to get to medical appointments, and often miss their treatment if they can’t arrange their own transportation.
“As predicted, the ideology of this Sask Party to rely on private companies to help residents maintain mobility around this province, has been an utter failure. The people of Saskatchewan deserve a public transportation company so that everyone in this province can access services, visit family and friends and receive proper health care regardless of location,” said Bymoen.
Cost of shutting down transit still unknown
The Sask Party has also yet to fully release individual agreements with some purchasers of STC assets, or to conduct a full audit of the financial and personal costs of shutting down the Crown corporation.
“We know the closure of STC is hurting seniors, women, the disabled and medical patients, both financially and personally, but this government is sticking to its blind ideology over compassion and common sense,” said Bymoen.
SGEU/NUPGE is calling on the Sask Party to provide a full financial and social audit of the costs of shuttering the STC, as well as of the costs associated with alternate transportation for patients, freight, and blood services.
“The people of Saskatchewan deserve to have full disclosure on the implications of shutting down such a vital service as the STC,” said Bymoen.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE