House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. government House leader knows full well that there are ongoing discussions between the Prime Minister and the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore. I am wondering why the hon. minister would ask for unanimous consent before the talks are completed. As far as I know, these talks have not been completed.

In the spirit of cooperation, I ask that the hon. government House leader come back to the House once these talks are completed and we have been advised of their completion.

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I do not want to get into a debate on this. The hon. minister does have the right to seek unanimous consent at any time. He is rising, so I will allow him a very short time to respond.

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, in response, these discussions have been completed. I put the motion, and I believe that the member reflected the position of his party, that it does not wish to allow this motion to pass.

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I will allow the hon. member for Hull--Aylmer a very brief opportunity and then we will go back to the hon. member for Alfred-Pellan.

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not a question of not wanting the motion to pass. It is a question of wanting to make sure that I hear from my side of the discussions that an agreement has been reached. If the hon. minister wants to come back in a few minutes to give me time to confirm, I have no problem with that.

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I will consider that matter concluded.

The hon. member for Alfred-Pellan has two or three minutes before 6:30 p.m.

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was talking about the final item to be amended by this bill. It is important to continue. The seventh aim is to ensure that the abandonment and transfer provisions apply to lines that are transferred to local lines under provincial jurisdiction and subsequently revert to a federal railway, including the obligation to honour contracts with public passenger service providers.

Those are the amendments proposed by the bill. Indeed, the main point of this bill has to do with the disagreements between the western grain transporters and the railway companies. Although this is happening outside Quebec, the Bloc Québécois is interested in playing a constructive role and always defending the interests of those who are not treated fairly.

Bill C-8 is an attempt to strike a better balance between the power of the railway companies and the people who produce and ship products, including grain producers, who do not own the rails and who have to get their hopper cars to destinations all over Canada. They feel oppressed by the railway companies. Thus, the purpose of this bill is to strike a balance.

The proposed amendments respond to the concerns of shippers—particularly western Canadian grain producers—about railway transportation prices and services, while also providing the railways with regulatory stability. It is time to improve the balance for grain producers, among others, who use their own railway cars. The Conservative government and the Liberals have often had the tendency of giving free reign to the market, with the result that some producers may have been exploited.

Various amendments also affect arbitration. The objectives of the Canada Transportation Act, prior to these amendments, required that the Canadian Transportation Agency take into account the matter of substantial commercial harm. Bill C-8 proposes to remove the reference to substantial commercial harm, because there was always substantial harm when the Canadian Transportation Agency had to hear the arguments of the railway companies.

In the end, those who do not own the rails lose every time. The railway companies always succeed in proving substantial commercial harm where there is none. That will now be subject to arbitration, which will be a means of settling disputes between shippers and the railways—

Canada Transportation Act
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Unfortunately, I must interrupt the hon. member for Alfred-Pellan, as we must proceed with the orders of the day.

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being 6:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division at report stage of Bill C-28.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on Motion No. 1, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #23

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare Motion No. 1 lost.

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

moved that the bill be concurred in.

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.