VIA Rail Canada Act

An Act respecting VIA Rail Canada and making consequential amendments to another Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Sponsor

Philip Toone  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of June 12, 2014
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment establishes a legislative framework for the crown corporation of VIA Rail Canada and describes the scheme of governance and funding for it. It also requires VIA Rail Canada to maintain public passenger service for the routes set out in the schedule.

This enactment also amends the Canada Transportation Act to enable a railway company to electrify the tracks of another railway company, by applying to the Canadian Transportation Agency for this purpose. It accords scheduling and operational preference to public passenger service by VIA Rail Canada over freight service where there is a conflict between the two. It requires VIA Rail Canada and any other railway company to set out public passenger service performance standards and incentive payments in agreements between them and allows the Canadian Transportation Agency to investigate and impose monetary penalties for poor performance and delays. It promotes the transparency of agreements between VIA Rail Canada and another railway company to use that railway company’s facilities or services by requiring publication of these agreements.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

VIA Rail Canada ActRoutine Proceedings

June 12th, 2014 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

NDP

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

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)