The Senate's Standing Committee on Transport and Communications report on Canada's intercity bus industry suggests that in five years the government consider deregulation.
Among other things, the committee recommended that current economic regulatory controls that require bus companies to obtain licenses be changed to a reverse onus test. This test is generally viewed as an easier entry test and a move in the direction of deregulation.
The committee also recommended that vans that operate outside the current law be better policed because of safety concerns.
The Senate report noted certain conflicts between bus operators and the providers of subsidized services such as VIA Rail and transit.
With respect to economic regulation, Motor Coach Canada (MCC), which made two submissions to the Senate Committee, urged the government to make up their mind one way or the other.
MCC identified the issue of vans and unlicensed vehicles operating without proper safety oversight and identified the economic and service impacts of bus companies having to compete with government subsidized rail and transit services.
"It was good to hear the Senate Committee understands that unfair subsidies are devastating to companies that do not get subsidies and who pay through taxes their share of the use of the highway system and yet have to compete with entities that are highly subsidized," said Brian Crow, president of MCC.