House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugee.

Topics

Infrastructure
Adjournment Proceedings

6:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, we have already provided support to the Magdalen Islands through investments in the airport and elsewhere in the community.

I can assure the hon. member that the Magdalen Islands airport infrastructures are safe and able to respond adequately to the needs of the commercial aircraft that regularly serve the airport. They are also able to accommodate fully loaded search and rescue aircraft. In fact, no official request to lengthen the main runway has been received from the airlines providing service to the airport.

Unless it receives objective safety information that shows a real need, Transport Canada considers that the investment of more than $10 million—that would be needed to lengthen the runway by 5,900 feet—is not justified on the basis of the information that we have.

I would like to thank the hon. member for raising this issue that is so important for his constituents. I would like to remind him that the primary goal of the government and the Department of Transport is to ensure the safety of our system. According to the information currently at our disposal, the system on the Magdalen Islands is safe. We are going to continue co-operating fully with the community and the islanders in order to maintain the system’s safety.

Infrastructure
Adjournment Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary.

I would like to clarify a few points: the request is for 5,500 feet and not 5,900 feet. It would cost less than the $10 million mentioned. We are not asking for more than what we need. We are simply asking for something that will meet the islands’ current needs and at the same time promote economic growth.

The cost for 5,500 feet would not be $10 million. That distance would be long enough for hospital planes. Right now, most of the planes belonging to Quebec's health and social services department cannot land on the islands. So it is a health and safety issue. We want these hospital planes to be able to land, something they cannot do at the moment.

Take the example of the C-30s. I have heard it said that these planes can land. However, these are military aircraft. No one on the Magdalen Islands wants to go to war. We would like to have a health and safety service that meets our needs. At the same time, we want to ensure that there is a commercial service that can promote tourism, on which the people of the Magdalen Islands depend entirely during the summer months.

So we are talking about 5,500 feet, not 5,900 feet. I do not want to have Hercules C-30s landing, because I do not want to go to war. I want the hospital planes to be able to land.

Infrastructure
Adjournment Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, the question is more or less the same, so the answer will be the same.

We have not received an official request. Nor do we have objective information demonstrating real safety needs. As a result, Transport Canada considers that the investment of over $10 million to extend the runway is not justifiable.

That is my response to the hon. member, but I can assure him that we are open to work with him and his community in order to support the people of the Magdalen Islands.

I would like to thank him for his question.

Infrastructure
Adjournment Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6:59 p.m.)