moved for leave to introduce Bill C-577, An Act respecting VIA Rail Canada and making consequential amendments to another Act.
Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present the VIA Rail protection bill. The bill presents a vision for the future of VIA Rail. It lays out a clear mandate and government structure. It gives it a larger say in determining its funding needs and frees the railway board from patronage appointments. By strengthening VIA Rail's position vis-à-vis CN and CP, delays for passenger trains would also be reduced.
Currently VIA Rail has no clearly delineated rights, powers, obligations, or mandated targets. Without legislative protection, it has suffered years of neglect and devastating service cuts. It is time to secure VIA Rail's role and responsibility through a federal law.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)