Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witnesses for appearing here.
Mr. Roney, you will probably appreciate a tragic, fatal collision that occurred at a crossing in Lakeshore, in Ontario, in my riding, very recently. Two young girls are dead, three were injured, two critically injured. I know that CP is cooperating with the OPP and TSB in an investigation. Our thoughts and prayers obviously go out to that family.
If I can switch tracks to the study at hand, which is about innovative technologies, there is a good news story out of Essex County. Born in Colchester in the mid-19th century, Elijah McCoy invented the automatic graphite lubricator for steam engines in a home-based machine shop, without a government program. This technology literally transformed the economy because it allowed for the on-time departure and arrival of trains. We get our expression “the real McCoy” from this, because there were many imitators of the graphite lubricator but there was only one real McCoy.
I tell this story because it's not only about rail innovation but it also points to a different time. This was a home-based shop; there was no government program around. It is about an inventor with an idea that transformed an industry.
Moving to the current scenario today, I want to ask how much CN and CP each invests privately in their research and development. What, if any, government programs do they use? If they don't, why? Let's start there, and I'll get a couple of others on the record because I may not have a lot of time.
How many technology patents do you have? You can provide this to the committee later if you don't have it now.
How would you characterize research and development in the rail sector? Is it incremental or transformational?
What drives your innovation, as a percentage? Is it business as usual or the regulatory environment?
I'll leave those questions for the record, but could you first talk about your investment in R and D and the government programs.