--some 30,000, approximately. That's why I'm so adamant about this bill. I don't agree with this bill. I don't agree with it in its present form and, quite frankly, I don't believe it can be amended appropriately to give it any real clout that won't cause, in essence, more disruption to my Newfoundland constituents than to anybody else in Canada.
I really believe that, and I'll tell you why. First of all, what you've referred to is weather. You referred to being stuck in the airport, and I know it was weather-related. If it was during the holidays, then my research proves that it was weather. The delays were weather. You've talked about weather, and I understand why you'd bring up weather.
You referred to the European bill of rights. Paris and London, two of the busiest airports in Europe, have no snowfall. St. John's is actually the foggiest city in all of Canada; it gets fog 124 days a year. For Halifax it's 122 days. It is the snowiest, at 359 centimetres, next to Quebec City, which also will be greatly affected, at 343 centimetres. It is the wettest, with 1,514 millimetres of precipitation. It is the windiest, with an average speed of 24.3 kilometres per hour, and the cloudiest, with 1,494 hours of sunshine. It has more days of freezing rain and wet weather than any other city.
That is obviously a concern. I've heard from Newfoundlanders how this is a concern, but like Pavlov's dog--if you keep calling the dog and you hit it with a stick when it comes--the airlines are not going to have scheduled flights to these cities if they're continually punished as a result of weather, which seems to be the indication. Even if it's excluded, which I don't believe it can be under the current bill, there are going to be other difficulties.
That's my concern, sir. I have two direct return flights a day right now from St. John's to Fort McMurray, and it's very important to the people in my area because their livelihoods depend on it.
Quite frankly, sir, I believe this bill will shut down those flights and shut down many other flights to small communities, of which I represent about 37 in northern Alberta. I know Newfoundland has many as well. That is my concern.
With that, I'll turn it over to Mr. Watson.