Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I will try to be brief so that we can have the benefit of our guests as long as possible.
From the outset, I would like to tell you what the problem is for me. One thing we often hear, and that we heard again at our last meeting, is that the motion should be disposed of quickly because it would slow economic development.
Nothing in the amendment or motion would establish conditions that would slow economic development in any region of Canada whatsoever. In fact, what we are seeking with the motion and the amendment is instead to harmonize the various areas of citizens' lives. Although economic life is important, it is not the only criterion determining the quality of life of a citizen in a region.
What is the point of investing in urban development and infrastructure plans that provide for land use plans, if a single player can thwart everyone's efforts at every turn? That is really the purpose of the motion we are debating this morning. The Supreme Court has previously held that federal legislation takes precedence over Quebec's Act respecting the Preservation of Agricultural Land.
Landing strips are rarely built in the mountains. Consequently, we constantly encroach on potential agricultural lands, which are becoming increasingly scarce, whereas they must feed a constantly growing population. It is fine to work miracles in order to increase and intensify agricultural production, but the fact remains that agricultural lands must be preserved.
Not all flatlands are necessarily agricultural lands. We believe it is essential to comply with the various legislatures, the various levels of government, municipal, provincial and federal. Those levels of government should harmonize their legislation to promote sound economic development and to enable every sector to develop.
The mayor of my city might not be very proud if I called Trois-Rivières a small city. It is a large city of 125,000 to 135,000 inhabitants, which has an airport and where there is a significant amount of aerospace development. Just this past weekend, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Trois-Rivières' airport. There was an open house at Aviatech, Premier Aviation and Nadeau Air Service. All the businesses at the airport were open to citizens. Here again, we see a development model in which we have managed to harmonize citizens' needs with economic development. We believe this is entirely possible.
I had a bit of fun reading the Aeronautics Act, since I am quite new to this committee, and I discovered that section 4.9 states the following: "The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting aeronautics and...may make regulations respecting..." It contains the word "may", which means that action may be taken. Paragraph (e) of that section states that regulations may be made respecting "activities at aerodromes and the location, inspection, certification, registration, licensing and operation of aerodromes." So action may be taken respecting location.
There is no "not in my backyard" syndrome here. We are not saying that aerodromes should not be built. We are saying that, when an aerodrome is developed, the various municipal, provincial and federal stakeholders could consult each other to find a better location that would allow for the most balanced development possible.
That is not just the gist, but also the primary objective of this motion, which I hope will be supported by the largest possible number, indeed the majority.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.