Bus route from Thompson to Winnipeg cancelled due to extreme cold

The extreme cold that blanketing much of Manitoba grounded one of the province's newest bus lines Sunday night.
Maple Bus Lines cancelled scheduled trips between Thompson and Winnipeg Sunday night due to extreme cold weather. (Submitted by Maple Bus Lines)

The extreme cold blanketing much of Manitoba grounded one of the province's newest bus lines Sunday night.

Maple Bus Lines cancelled its scheduled route between Thompson and Winnipeg for the evening, as Environment Canada forecast an extreme wind chill that could make it feel as cold as —53 C in Thompson.

"I just don't feel comfortable going in those temperatures," said Maple Bus Lines' owner, Lori Mann, adding she didn't want to see anyone stranded on the highway in the frigid conditions.

"It's pretty desolate, even the gas stations and things are on sporadic hours.

"It's tough, but safety first, I'd rather be safe because if a bus goes down, it's not worth it."

A post on the company's Facebook page says customers who had purchased a ticket for Sunday's run would get a full refund, and Mann said the bus line attempted to contact those who booked seats to let them know about the change.

"I feel bad, but you know what, if anything ever happened, it just wouldn't be right," said Mann.

Maple Bus Lines has been running a route between Thompson and Winnipeg since Greyhound Canada suspended service in the fall.

Service on the route will resume Jan. 1, providing the weather improves.

Nearly the entire province of Manitoba was under under an Environment Canada extreme cold weather warning Sunday.

The warnings extend from the far north of the province down to the U.S. border, with only the southeastern tip of Manitoba avoiding the warning.

Environment Canada says a bitterly cold Arctic air mass that's expected to hang over the province for the next few days is to blame for the frigid temperatures.

Extreme wind chills are forecast to exceed –40 C in most of southern Manitoba and –45 C in northern Manitoba.

An approaching warm front from should bring Manitoba out of the deep freeze Wednesday, says Environment Canada.