Over two decades ago, Floyd Olson leaned over to me at a Wynyard High School Christmas concert to say, “you have to send her to the city”. He was speaking about Beth and referring to her love of music and her double bass. She subsequently enrolled in a high school with a renowned music program and two years later was in the Regina Symphony. Had the STC not been here for us, I don’t know how we would have survived the separation. Beth was our baby and we had been through a lot together before coming back to live at the farm (New Roots). She would catch the bus in Regina Friday or Saturday and we returned her to the bus on Sunday.
Our family always utilized the bus - and after smoking became prohibited - with increasing pleasure. A person traveling alone could read, sleep or even watch a video instead of driving. A bathroom on board meant that you could drink all the coffee you wanted and not have to stop for a pee! Once upon a time the bus could be caught in Wynyard in the morning, a person could spend the day in Saskatoon and return in the evening.
Cutting the library was also cruel. I cannot be the only Wynyard person ordering books, often difficult to locate books, through the system. Because of it I was able to do research and still live where I live. In any library, there are people using public computers, another service available to those who could not afford to access the technology.
Cut the bus, cut the library services, cut education, cut support for recreational programs - and increase law enforcement in rural areas. Makes sense, I suppose - people can’t move, can’t read or learn to read, can’t go on the net but we’d better make sure that they are caught if they commit a crime! After imprisonment, we’ll send them home by taxi cause we can’t send them home by bus.
We are also directly and immediately affected. Beth is in Regina working for the Regina Folk Festival. We were planning to make use of the weekend commute.