TORONTO May 7, 2020— ATU Canada is responding to the recent announcement regarding the nation-wide shut down of Greyhound, stating that the Canadian government is responsible for the collapse of intercity buses in Canada, not the COVID-19 virus. Although the intercity bus service is a federally-regulated industry, the government has given the industry the cold shoulder during the pandemic. ATU Canada President, John Di Nino is calling out Liberals for their failure to act definitively to save the service.

“The shutdown of Greyhound Canada demonstrates that the Liberal government are abject failures when it comes to mass transit in this country,” said Di Nino. “When a federally regulated industry completely collapses under your watch, you are not fit for government. The Liberals have failed. Transit is a human right and vital for some of the most vulnerable people who rely on this service, many who have no alternative means of transportation.”

Over 400 employees are now out of work as a result of federal mismanagement of a vital economic sector.

“These workers see Federal inaction as a betrayal and a denial of their value as part of the workforce. Intercity buses are a public good and the workers in this industry do critical work connecting northern and rural communities to vital services. These workers are no less important than any other workers in those federal industries that the Liberal government has supported during the pandemic,” stated Di Nino. 

ATU Canada is reminded of the recent failure of the Trudeau government to act responsibly when Greyhound ceased operations in Western Canada in July 2018. 

“We have seen this before in 2018 and the government took no action,” said John Di Nino. “It’s not surprising the government is a bystander on this issue, we have lost all faith in this government. I have grown accustomed to Ottawa’s lack of nerve when it comes to funding mass transit. Within my first month as President of a transit union, I witnessed official indifference at the collapse of intercity bus service in Western Canada which left many Canadians stranded.

“Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport needs a briefing on the Constitution,” concludes Di Nino. Transportation services that connect provinces or cross borders are under Federal jurisdiction. This was upheld by a Supreme Court ruling in 1954 in the matter of the Attorney General for Ontario vs Winner.

The Amalgamated Transit Union is made up of 34,000 transit professionals in nine Canadian provinces. They represent vehicle operators, maintenance staff, paratransit operations, clerical staff, dispatchers, administrative professionals and workers in the over-the-road motor coach industry. The union was founded in 1892 and represents workers in Canada’s urban, suburban and rural communities. 


Media Contact:

John Di Nino
ATU Canada President
Phone: 416-938-0746