moved for leave to introduce Bill C-614, An Act respecting VIA Rail Canada and making consequential amendments to another Act.
Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour of introducing a bill about VIA Rail. We know that VIA Rail is in crisis. Service is threatened in many regions of Canada. Vancouver Island has lost its service. There is no more service on the Gaspé coast. Service in the Maritimes has been cut by 50%, and there is a real concern that all service in eastern Quebec could be completely eliminated.
We know that even with the significant investments that have been made in the past 10 years, VIA Rail is still in a downward spiral. There are fewer passengers and fewer resources, and the equipment is in terrible shape. We need a legislative framework that will promote VIA Rail service in Canada. We want a legislative framework that is modelled after the American one, which saved another service that was threatened, namely Amtrak.
A similar framework here would put us on the right track. We could save VIA Rail. I am relying heavily on the bill that was introduced a few months ago by my former colleague, Olivia Chow, before she left the House.
I hope that members of the House will support this bill so that we can have appropriate VIA Rail service.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)