Among the most cherished of our basic freedoms is the freedom to travel almost anywhere. When travelling becomes difficult, we realize how we tend to take it for granted.
A storm called Harvey trapped hundreds of people in Houston in their homes as floodwaters rose all around them. Luckily, in a big city like that there’s lots of help available fairly quickly.
It’s a very different story as we saw in the near north of Manitoba this week. With relatively little warning, more than 3700 people had to get moving with almost nothing because of a forest fire. Young and old, healthy and not so healthy, were forced to fly south away from the smoke and the flames. Hundreds had to endure a bumpy 20 minute boat ride in the dead of night, to get to the nearest airstrip.
Then there’s Churchill on the shore of Hudson Bay. Nine hundred residents there have been without their rail link to the south for almost four months, and there’s no sign of a solution yet.
Many Saskatchewan communities are now more isolated than they were a year ago, since Brad Wall and company ended support for the provincial bus company, Saskatchewan Transportation, or STC.
In other parts of Canada, Greyhound is abandoning more and more bus routes all the time. We live in a huge land, and if you don’t have a personal vehicle, or the financial means to fly somewhere on a plane, then you just don’t have that basic freedom. Might the folks at Uber provide at least part of the answer? With all our access to social media and the internet, shouldn’t it be easier to arrange a ride with someone from Brandon to North Battleford?
Be careful whereever you travel, and enjoy life in September.