Transportation Modernization Act

An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

Sponsor

Marc Garneau  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Canada Transportation Act in respect of air transportation and railway transportation.

With respect to air transportation, it amends the Canada Transportation Act to require the Canadian Transportation Agency to make regulations establishing a new air passenger rights regime and to authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations requiring air carriers and other persons providing services in relation to air transportation to report on different aspects of their performance with respect to passenger experience or quality of service. It amends the definition of Canadian in that Act in order to raise the threshold of voting interests in an air carrier that may be owned and controlled by non-Canadians while retaining its Canadian status, while also establishing specific limits related to such interests. It also amends that Act to create a new process for the review and authorization of arrangements involving two or more transportation undertakings providing air services to take into account considerations respecting competition and broader considerations respecting public interest.

With respect to railway transportation, it amends the Act to, among other things,

(a) provide that the Canadian Transportation Agency will offer information and informal dispute resolution services;

(b) expand the Governor in Council’s powers to make regulations requiring major railway companies to provide to the Minister of Transport and the Agency information relating to rates, service and performance;

(c) repeal provisions of the Act dealing with insolvent railway companies in order to allow the laws of general application respecting bankruptcy and insolvency to apply to those companies;

(d) clarify the factors that must be applied in determining whether railway companies are fulfilling their service obligations;

(e) shorten the period within which a level of service complaint is to be adjudicated by the Agency;

(f) enable shippers to obtain terms in their contracts dealing with amounts to be paid in relation to a failure to comply with conditions related to railway companies’ service obligations;

(g) require the Agency to set the interswitching rate annually;

(h) create a new remedy for shippers who have access to the lines of only one railway company at the point of origin or destination of the movement of traffic in circumstances where interswitching is not available;

(i) change the process for the transfer and discontinuance of railway lines to, among other things, require railway companies to make certain information available to the Minister and the public and establish a remedy for non-compliance with the process;

(j) change provisions respecting the maximum revenue entitlement for the movement of Western grain and require certain railway companies to provide to the Minister and the public information respecting the movement of grain; and

(k) change provisions respecting the final offer arbitration process by, among other things, increasing the maximum amount for the summary process to $2 million and by making a decision of an arbitrator applicable for a period requested by the shipper of up to two years.

It amends the CN Commercialization Act to increase the maximum proportion of voting shares of the Canadian National Railway Company that can be held by any one person to 25%.

It amends the Railway Safety Act to prohibit a railway company from operating railway equipment and a local railway company from operating railway equipment on a railway unless the equipment is fitted with the prescribed recording instruments and the company, in the prescribed manner and circumstances, records the prescribed information using those instruments, collects the information that it records and preserves the information that it collects. This enactment also specifies the circumstances in which the prescribed information that is recorded can be used and communicated by companies, the Minister of Transport and railway safety inspectors.

It amends the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act to allow the use or communication of an on-board recording, as defined in subsection 28(1) of that Act, if that use or communication is expressly authorized under the Aeronautics Act, the National Energy Board Act, the Railway Safety Act or the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

It amends the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act to authorize the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to enter into agreements for the delivery of screening services on a cost-recovery basis.

It amends the Coasting Trade Act to enable repositioning of empty containers by ships registered in any register. These amendments are conditional on Bill C-30, introduced in the 1st session of the 42nd Parliament and entitled the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, receiving royal assent and sections 91 to 94 of that Act coming into force.

It amends the Canada Marine Act to permit port authorities and their wholly-owned subsidiaries to receive loans and loan guarantees from the Canada Infrastructure Bank. These amendments are conditional on Bill C-44, introduced in the 1st session of the 42nd Parliament and entitled the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, receiving royal assent.

Finally, it makes related and consequential amendments to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Competition Act, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, the Air Canada Public Participation Act, the Budget Implementation Act, 2009 and the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act.

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.

Votes

May 22, 2018 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
May 3, 2018 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
May 3, 2018 Failed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (amendment)
Nov. 1, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
Oct. 30, 2017 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
Oct. 30, 2017 Failed Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
Oct. 30, 2017 Failed Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
Oct. 30, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 19, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 15, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, I enjoy the agriculture committee a great deal, and my colleague and I work well together on that committee. However, we talked about having this emergency meeting in March and it never should have come to that.

Again, the member talked about the railways adding locomotives and hiring people. Yes, certainly they have done that, but they have done that much too late. They should have started doing this in the fall. As they said at committee that day, it takes them six months to train a crew to get it up and running. They started doing this in April and May when they should have been doing it in September and October. The problem with the bill is that it does not hold those rail companies to any accountability when it comes to ensuring they are meeting their commitment.

For example, the member talked about some of the things in the bill that would do that. However, on the long-haul interswitching, there are so many lists of triggers in there to make it actually kick-in that it will rarely be used. With the extended interswitching, some of the things we had in Bill C-30 solved those issues. We are going backward.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is our agriculture critic and he is doing a great job in that capacity. He understands agriculture. He comes from Alberta, and rural constituents of his know that he gets it.

I am a farmer and a small business owner. The member touched on this in his speech as well, but as I talk to other farmers, one of the fears they have, now that we are beginning with this year's crop, is that in some cases they have not been able to haul their grain from last year, and there are still bills from last year on which they are waiting to sell grain. We understand that an efficient and well-functioning rail system is critically important to the rural economy, but it is critically important to the entire Canadian economy as well.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Viking, Alberta waiting for a train. I have never seen a train so long. It was almost like trains were lined up going down the track. It had oil tank cars attached to it. Again, elevators are begging for cars and looking to move product.

If the government were to solve this right away, there is still the problem today of bans on the roads. The county puts bans on the roads so these heavy loads do not go down gravel roads when they are soft.

The member talked about needing the bill, but also about needing answers as well. It seems there is a lack of understanding on the other side.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are few people in the House who are more knowledgeable of agriculture than the member is. He certainly lives it every day, and I respect his opinion.

The member is exactly right. I do not think the government understands the integration of our transportation system, whether it is rail, road, or other options. If we were able to approve some pipelines, that certainly would alleviate a lot of that problem.

For example, one of my friends is a farmer in Saskatchewan. Instead of having his fertilizer brought to him by train from Clavet, it is being trucked from Redwater, Alberta. Instead of a very short train trip to get that fertilizer, it is now 800 kilometres being hauled by truck.

All of these decisions being made have a trickle effect on every other part of our economy. We cannot just assume that fixing this one little thing is going to fix everything. The bill would not fix the major problem, which is holding a lot of these companies to account to ensure they meet their commitments.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure the member that Bill C-49 really is about a long-term, sustainable solution that will actually provide the kind of predictability needed for us to grow a more prosperous future. Getting that long-term solution did take a little longer, but I think it will pay off in the end.

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Barley, Grain Growers of Canada, and I have more pages, are happy with what Bill C-49 manages to accomplish. We just need to work together to get it passed.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, this will be wait and see. I am going to challenge my colleague. If we have another larger than average harvest this fall, I would like to see if Bill C-49 does what she says it will do. I do not think it will. Our stakeholders have raised the alarm bells on that.

She spoke about some of the submissions. They were not saying that they were necessarily satisfied with Bill C-49. Their message is to get this through and let us move on. I think they understand, just as we do, that to say Bill C-49 will be the solution to everything is disingenuous.

She should really talk to her Minister of Transportation and Minister of Agriculture who admitted in the last two weeks that Bill C-49 would not address all of the issues that had been brought forward.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for the very good work he has done in raising this issue and holding the minister's feet to the fire when it comes to addressing the issues our grain farmers have been facing.

We know that unreliable services cost. We know that inaction costs not only over the past number of months as we have been reflecting on what has been lost, but also there are things we need to look at going forward.

I wonder if the member could share with us what he is hearing with respect to concerns, perhaps on our ability to meet future contracts, on our reputation internationally when we have to deal with these sorts of issues right here with our own transportation system, and then on the cost of products sitting and having to shut down production.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our shadow minister for transportation for all the incredible work she has done on what is an ominous and very difficult bill to try to wade through.

She is exactly right. We cannot underestimate the financial impact of inaction on Bill C-49. We went through this in 2013-14 and the impact on the Canadian economy was in excess of $8 billion. That is why we put forward Bill C-30 to ensure we would never have those types of issues again.

We are certainly hearing from our stakeholders that this has not only impacted this year's harvest, but will very likely impact next year's harvest. They have nowhere to store their product. Their bins are full now. Until things start moving, there is not going to be anywhere to store their products.

Nutrien in Saskatchewan has shut down an entire potash mine because it cannot move product. There is no demand for those inputs because farmers are at a loss as to what to plant this year, or if they will be able to plant. They have full bins and road bans are in place. This has caused such stress among our agriculture sector. I really want to highlight the fact that the implication this has had is not simply a matter of frustration. It has really impacted people on the ground and their families.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, what a privilege it is to stand in my place today to talk about a fantastic piece of legislation.

I thought the minister really paid tribute to a lot of the fine work that was done, from first reading of the legislation to second reading debate to the standing committee debate, listening to what had taken place in the standing committees, then coming back to the House and going to the Senate, which has proposed amendments. I highlight that for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, let us acknowledge that when the legislation was brought in, it was long overdue. The minister has taken the approach of making fairly comprehensive changes to our transportation industry. He recognizes how valuable that industry is to our country. The fact that he invited and welcomed input and in many ways accepted many different changes speaks volumes with respect to the degree in which the minister, working with cabinet and all members of this chamber, has seen this legislation get to where it is today. This is positive legislation.

When I was on the opposition benches, we would talk about government legislation and how the Harper government was never really open to opposition ideas when the legislation came before a standing committee. In this case, the members of the standing committee worked exceptionally well together. They came together on a number of different ideas, some Conservative, some the Liberal, some New Democrat. These individuals were prepared to put their party politics aside to try to improve the legislation. As a direct result, many amendments were passed, virtually through a consensus that was quickly evolving. From what I understand, originators of some of those amendments crossed party lines.

It then went to the Senate. As the minister mentioned, the Senate scrutinized the bill quite extensively. The senators met with many different stakeholders and came up with a series of amendments. The minister and the department, after doing some further consultations with others, decided the government was prepared to accept some amendments in order to further advance Bill C-49. A very open and transparent process has led us to what we are debating today.

I was provided some quotes to reinforce what I just said. If we look to the Grain Growers of Canada, grain farmers from across Canada are praising the decision by the Minister of Transport to accept the recommendations and amendments put forward with respect to Bill C-49, the transportation modernization act announced on April 27. It says that the decision demonstrates the government is listening to farmers in their calls for a balanced and accountable rail transport system.

Mr. Nielsen of the Grain Growers of Canada said:

We need the legislation in place well in advance of August 1, 2018 to ensure hard working middle class farmers don’t have to suffer through another grain shipping season with terrible rail service...“Accepting these amendments demonstrates that [the ministers of agriculture and transport] are working for the growth of the rural economy. Bill C-49 is key to the long term success of my industry and key to reaching the goal of $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025. We urge parliament to pass it now.”

The fine work parliamentarians have done in both Houses has been recognized, but we are now being called upon to pass the legislation.

There are a number of things we have talked a great deal about. In listening to the debate today and at second reading, there is a very interesting and important point. I use this as an example. We hear a lot about air passengers and the grain industry, which I will provide comments on shortly. However, I always thought there was something quite interesting within the legislation that I have not really heard, and it was just recently pointed out to me. It comes from the Transportation Safety Board, where an idea has been talked about, a recommendation, for years now. I would have thought this was something that could and should have been acted on relatively quickly. The idea is to have cameras in locomotives. It is very much a safety issue. Even though we spend a lot of time listening to the debate and comments from across the way, whether it is now or at second reading, I cannot recall hearing that particular comment.

The bill is a fairly significant change from what we have had in the past. We would have to go many years before we would see the types of changes we have seen in this legislation. We have a minister, working with others, who has really advanced a major piece of legislation that is going to a profound positive impact on several sectors, on passengers, shippers, farmers, the rail industry as a whole. These are significant changes. We have a minister who has been able to pull all this together in a relatively short period of time.

I remember sitting in the opposition benches, and this is something I have made reference to in the past, and asking Stephen Harper directly about the piles of grain on the Prairies. The grain was not in storage bins. It was in the fields. There was the threat that some of that grain was starting to rot, while in the Pacific Ocean there were ships anchored and unable to come into port to be loaded because the grain was not at the port. The grain could not be exported.

Canada is a trading nation. We need trade. Trade is what allows us to grow our middle class, fuel our economy, and provide the types of jobs that are so very important. When we think of the example I raised back then, we get a sense of the frustration. Imagine the frustration for farmers, whose crops are literally sitting in the fields and they want to get it to market.

I am listening to the debate this morning, and Conservative members have a great deal of criticism toward this legislation. They were in government for many years and had the opportunity to bring forward this kind of legislation. They had many years to do it, but it has taken this government to ultimately get the job done. Now, it is not complete yet, and we very much appreciate all the fine work that has been done by members of all political entities in the House and the Senate.

We also recognize and acknowledge the immense amount of work done by the stakeholders. It is the stakeholders who continued to lobby year after year for the types of changes we are witnessing today. That is why people should not be surprised at the pressure on all of us to get this piece of legislation passed.

There is another interesting quote that was provided to me. I will mention this because I come from the Prairies and we are talking about the importance of wheat. The following is a quote from the Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley:

The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley say that [the] Federal Transport Minister[...]’s move to endorse key amendments to Bill C-49 in the House of Commons, as recommended by the Commissions, is good news for farmers.

They go on to say:

“We see the news from [the] Minister...as an excellent show of support for the agriculture industry and for farmers,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair. “

This is why it is so important that we advance this legislation.

I will give a real example of the type of frustration farmers have. Let us imagine a farmer has a contract with the rail company, and the farmer says he will deliver x amount of wheat on x date to the rail line. If that farmer does not fulfill the contract as he had committed to the rail line, the rail line could take action against the farmer, such as fines and so forth. The farmer would suffer penalties. That is the way it is and the way it was, yet it was never reciprocal. The farmer felt helpless. What about the railway company? If the farmer delivers the product on time to where it is supposed to be, should there not be any sort of obligation for the rail line? This legislation actually takes that into consideration so that it would be reciprocal. Not only would the rail line ensure more accountability for farmers, but, for the first time, it would be reciprocal, and farmers could look for some sort of justice if the rail line does not meet its obligation.

We can call it prairie frustration, but I want to ensure that products coming from the prairie provinces get to market. The same principle would apply for all regions of our country, but right now I am focused in particular on prairie farmers, because our wheat needs to get to market. We want rail line companies to work with us.

I was very happy when the Minister of Transport made the calls necessary to move additional grain. It was the Minister of Agriculture, working with the Minister of Transport, who corresponded with the rail lines to try to get more grain cars to the Prairies and out to our markets. It has improved a great deal over the last number of weeks, but there are a lot of advocacy groups and individual farmers who are still very much concerned about getting their product on the rails. It is not as though there is that much of a choice.

Winnipeg North, the area I represent, probably has the highest number of long-haul truck drivers and trucks per capita. Commodities can only go so far by long-haul trucking. We need an effective, efficient rail line, a rail line that is going to be accountable to producers and manufacturers. Whether it is a widget or a commodity, we need to be able to get them to market. We are talking about billions of dollars and millions of jobs which are affected by our transportation industry. That is why it is so critically important.

I want to also provide some comments in regard to our airline industry. Members of Parliament do a great deal of travelling. A number of us share some of the concerns that we hear from our constituents on a fairly regular basis, some of the frustrations that they face.

People can be on a flight scheduled for five o'clock and after they board the plane, the plane sits on the tarmac for what seems to be an endless amount of time. There are no requirements for the airline to serve its passengers. If passengers are left waiting on the tarmac for an extended period of time, one would like to think that some basics, such as water or food, would be available to them, but there is no guarantee of that. That is absolutely critical.

If members of Parliament were asked what kind of problems they have encountered, we would hear things such as sitting on the tarmac and lost luggage, which is fairly common. What about passengers who arrive at the airport to find that their flight has been cancelled? What about overbooking? All of these things take place and every airline has a different procedure to follow. This legislation takes a unifying approach. Every airline would be obligated to do certain things with respect to those situations I have mentioned.

Consultation does not stop there. If we pass this legislation, the regulations will follow. It is through those regulations that we will get the details as to what the consequences will be. This is something all of our constituents want to see.

I debated a bill on air passenger rights when I was in opposition. All of us are very sympathetic to this issue. We want to see this advance. It would be great to have more details, and a lot of those details will come in the form of regulations. Those regulations will be worked on proactively. The purpose of the legislation is to establish a framework that would provide good regulations. Our constituents have been calling for this for many years. They want some protection against the airlines.

That is the reason I started off by saying that this is a great piece of legislation. It is comprehensive. Those that were involved in putting it together, the average Canadian, stakeholders, members of Parliament, senators, staff within the minister's office, have come together to provide a comprehensive piece of legislation. Now we are at the final stages.

It is a good day when we see this kind of legislation move forward.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I just have a little clarification on my colleague's lengthy speech.

Farmers do not contract with the railroad. Shippers contract with the railroad. There is an intermediary who makes the contract. That is where the problem is. The shipper contacts the farmer and says, “We have cars coming. The railroad says they are coming on Tuesday.” He gets down to his bins and loads it up. It is ready to go, and there are no cars there. He cannot ship it. The port is out there, and the boats are there. That cost does not go to the shipper; it comes back to the farmer.

There are more pieces in it than the member is talking about. There are the shippers in between, who contract with the farmer. The farmer does not contract with the railroad.

On the airline piece, who is going to write the regulations? The airlines are. That is where I have a problem. It should have been the committee and the government writing the regulations, not leaving it for afterwards.

Would the member like to respond to that?

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that the shippers represent the farmers. The farmers are the ones who choose the shippers. What predates this legislation? What happens today? There are no reciprocal actions that take place. If the grain arrives on time, but the rail company says, “So sorry, we cannot move it”, there is no legal action that the shipper or the farmer can take against the rail line. Under this legislation, they will have an opportunity, whether it is the shipper on behalf of the farmer, or the farmer directly.

As for the airline industry, I would suggest that the member is misinformed to draw the conclusion that Air Canada, WestJet, or any other airline will be dictating to the government what the regulations are going to look like. I can assure the member that it is not going to be the airlines that do it. We will work with Canadians, and no doubt the airlines will play a role in this, but the regulations are going to be there to protect the consumers, too. That is why we are bringing in—

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, we have spent a great deal of time on questions in this debate about the role of Bill C-30 versus the long-haul interswitching included in Bill C-49. Bill C-30 provided a short-term solution to respond to an immediate need, but it did not solve the long-term problem of the transportation of western Canadian grain. It also did not provide any solution for the rest of the country in different industries and different regions.

Although I lived in Alberta for about five years, I am proudly Nova Scotian. I am curious if the hon. member could offer some thoughts on the importance of extending efficiencies in our transportation system to different sectors of the economy and to different regions, to make sure that our transportation system works for everyone and brings the greatest growth to the Canadian economy.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague and friend brings up an excellent point.

About 20% into my speech, I was talking about how important trade is to our country. There is economic development in every region of our country that has the potential to really grow our economy in an environmentally friendly fashion.

One way we can foster that growth is to look at ways to ensure we are maximizing the efficiency of our rail lines. In Manitoba, for example, there is a great deal of concern about the Churchill connection. As much as possible, we need to support, where we can, rail transportation to different communities, which can have a profound positive impact on those communities.

It is about taking a comprehensive, overlooking approach, a long-term strategy in terms of how we develop as a country. In certain sectors and in certain areas of our country, I suspect we are going to see fantastic growth. We need to support that growth through infrastructure, and rail is part of that infrastructure.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about the importance of transportation in this country, whether it be airline joint ventures, air passenger rights, railway and rail shippers relationships, or voice and video recording on railways.

I would like to thank all of the members today, especially those who belong to the transportation committee. I know they worked very hard and had some good discussions. There were 18 amendments. The opposition parties disagreed with the Liberal Party on about 18 different positions. The bill went to the Senate, and the Senate came back with almost exactly the same 18 amendments.

If the member is really concerned with safety in Canada, why does he think the 18 amendments supported in principle by the Senate should not be included as the motion was put forward today? He is talking about the safety of the whole transportation system.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, when the minister made his introduction, he provided comments on a good number of those amendments and why some of them could not be supported.

I would rather take it in a different direction by suggesting that we look at what took place at committee. I was not present at the committee, but I understand there was a fantastic flow of information among all the parties at the table, to the degree that members of all political parties suggested amendments. The amendments that did pass were passed in a very co-operative, almost consensus-building, fashion, which is encouraging because when I sat in opposition, I very rarely witnessed something of that nature, if ever. It sounds like the committee did a fantastic job in making some positive changes to the legislation.

Not all the amendments were passed, but a number of them were. In the minister's response to that, he paid a compliment to all members of the standing committee for their fine work, whether they were Conservatives, New Democrats, or government members. The people who participated did a good job. He also recognized the valuable work the Senate did in terms of bringing the legislation back with a few more amendments that we were able to accept, in the name of making it a healthier and stronger legislation overall.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a member of that committee, I can certainly vouch for the parliamentary secretary's comments. It was extremely collaborative. Many of the amendments brought forward were wordsmithed and shaped in order to bring this forward.

One of the primary things we tried to do was understand what the previous government had tried to accomplish with Bill C-30. We discovered that the interswitching provision of 150 kilometres, in spite of the difficulties being faced by grain shippers in the season it was brought forward, was never actually used. It did not work.

Although the intention was there to improve the system, our committee focused on ways to take that concept and make it a lot better. I am going to give my hon. friend another opportunity to really underscore the value of the reciprocal penalties as being a far more potent tool for shippers to have, and through the shippers, the producers, in order to get compliance and co-operation from the railways.