Connect with us

Travel & Escape

Maritime Bus gets $720,000 in funding to operate routes in northern New Brunswick

Editor

Published

on

FREDERICTON — A last-minute government injection of $720,000 appears to have saved bus routes in northern New Brunswick that a private bus operator wanted to cut because of a drop in ridership attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Brunswick government announced Friday that the funding for Maritime Bus would allow the company to maintain service to Edmundston and Campbellton.

It said $360,000 would come from an envelope of federal cash given to New Brunswick for COVID relief, while the rest would come from a provincial funding program.

The money is be given to the city of Edmundston, which will pay the bus company for service to the province’s northern region.

“Maritime Bus provides accessible and affordable transportation service for people in our region who need to travel to southern New Brunswick for medical care,” Edmundston deputy mayor Eric Marquis said in a news release. “We are very grateful for the intervention of the government of New Brunswick.”

Friday’s announcement came just ahead of a Sunday deadline for cutting the routes by the Charlottetown-based bus company. The government said the money would be contingent on the company guaranteeing the continued operation of its northern routes until the end of 2021.

Maritime Bus president Mike Cassidy said he was “relieved and thrilled” by the announcement.

“Maritime Bus is an interprovincial carrier, and to be effective we have to be in all three provinces, and we achieved that today,” Cassidy said in an interview.

He said it was especially good news for five company employees who were to be laid off on Monday and could now report for work.

Cassidy also said he didn’t find the guarantee of service requirement from the government unreasonable, adding that he is optimistic his business can rebound in 2021.

“So, 2021 should not be a great year, but for passengers and same day parcels we are going to see a pickup I’m sure,” he said.

Local Government Minister Daniel Allain said Maritime Bus provides a key service to residents, businesses and communities.

The government decision comes after public outcry and political pressure, including from Green party Leader David Coon, who had called on Premier Blaine Higgs to negotiate an agreement with the company to keep its buses on the roads.

Last week, 21 senators from the Maritimes wrote a letter urging the federal government to provide financial assistance. They noted that Ottawa provided direct funding for Greyhound when it abandoned bus routes in Western Canada.

Earlier this month, Cassidy said he had to cut routes because the number of passengers using the bus service fell from 191,000 in 2019 to just 69,000 last year.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Travel & Escape

American woman faces $2,800 parking bill after leaving car in Toronto during pandemic

Editor

Published

on

By

Parking in the city can be costly, but one American woman is learning just how bad it can be after being unable to retrieve her car for nearly a year.

Detroit resident Kim Richardson left her 2004 Honda Element at the Park2Sky lot by Pearson airport in March 2020 before flying out to Europe for a medical procedure. She originally planned to retrieve it within two weeks but partway through her trip, the Canada-US border got closed due to COVID-19 precautions.

Richardson’s return flight was rerouted to Detroit and she’s been unable to return to Toronto since.

What was originally a $100 bill has now inflated to $2,800 as the lot’s owner says he has a business to operate and is owed payment for 11 months of storage. However, Richardson believes she’s being extorted for an issue beyond her control.

Park2Sky personnel claim that several Americans who found themselves in similar predicaments have had their cars shipped home.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know what’s going on here. Business is down, I’m not making any money at all. People who leave their car are paid. She’s the only one that hasn’t paid,” said the owner to CBC News this week.

The stalemate is expected to last a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and Ontario Provincial Police have said they won’t get involved in a civil matter.

Continue Reading

Travel & Escape

All systems are go for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in 2021

Editor

Published

on

By

KINGSTON — Despite Canada’s newly extended cruise ship ban, Canadians still have a small-ship cruising alternative in 2021 with St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

The small-ship operator, which sails on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, has confirmed operations for 2021, with overnight cruises on both rivers from May 20 to Oct. 24. A variety of cruises ranging from four to seven nights will depart from Kingston, Ottawa and Quebec City, sailing exclusively in domestic waters with stops at select ports in Ontario and Quebec.

On Feb. 4, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s cruise ship ban will be extended until Feb. 28, 2022. This measure, which effectively prohibits cruise vessels carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters, does not impact the small-ship operations of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines and its 32-stateroom CANADIAN EMPRESS.

“We are excited to offer travellers a small ship option for the 2021 season,” said President Jason Clark. “Our overnight cruises stay close to shore in Canadian waters and our COVID-19 Health and Safety program has been recognized for its high standards.”

This past December, the cruise line was awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) for adherence to global standards of health and hygiene. The program includes a wide range of safety measures, including reduced passenger loads, masking, physical distancing and hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting for both private staterooms and shared spaces. Plus, all staterooms have access to fresh air, climate controls and views of the river.

Continue Reading

Travel & Escape

Here’s How Canada’s ‘Screening Officers’ Will Check On Travellers During Quarantine

Editor

Published

on

By

The federal government is reminding all travellers in Canada that “Screening Officers” may pay them a visit post-arrival.

In a statement about the country’s latest travel restrictions, Transport Canada confirmed that newly-trained officials would be tasked with checking up on travellers during their two-week quarantine period.

The role of the Screening Officers will be to visit travellers’ quarantine locations to “establish contact, confirm identify and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada.”

This is to make sure individuals are complying with Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement.

The checks will be conducted across 35 Canadian cities, having already started in Montreal and Toronto back in January.

The officials will provide “compliance education” and will be able to issue verbal warnings, but stronger enforcement action will be referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and then law enforcement for follow-up checks. 

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act or with Screening Officers’ instructions could result in fines of up to $750,000 or even jail time.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending