I'm delighted to be here today. If I occasionally cough and splutter, please don't worry. I'm alive and well. I don't want to make a habit of having a cold when I come here, but I am fine. Thank you.
Madam Chair and members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to meet with you today. I am joined by the people you have already mentioned.
There is a great deal of important work being done in the federal transportation portfolio, which includes Transport Canada, crown corporations, agencies and administrative tribunals.
Regarding this year's main estimates, I will begin by mentioning that for the fourth year Transport Canada is involved in a pilot project, as we assess how effective it is to link grants and contribution votes to their purpose.
To help the parliamentary study of the estimates and the scrutiny of government expenditures overall, planned Transport Canada expenditures are presented in the main estimates for 2019-20 in accordance with the department's results framework.
The overarching goal at Transport Canada is to ensure that our transportation system is safe and secure, efficient, green and innovative. We work towards this goal by proposing laws, policies and regulations; monitoring and inspecting the transportation industry to ensure that these laws, policies and regulations are respected; and funding projects to strengthen the transportation network. We also collaborate with a variety of partners, including indigenous peoples, industry, provincial and territorial governments, and international bodies.
Transport Canada's main estimates for 2019-20 total $1.86 billion. That total can be broken down into four categories, which are $879 million under “Efficient Transportation”, $374 million under “Safe and Secure Transportation”, $252 million under “Green and Innovative Transportation” and $194 million for “Internal Services.” There is also $162 million for new budget 2019 items.
This is an interesting and exciting time for transportation in Canada. Innovation is delivering new opportunities and new challenges. In response, we are allocating resources to address these challenges, and we are always seeking ways to take advantage of new opportunities to make transportation safer, more secure, and more efficient, with less impact on the environment.
Budget 2019 announced a $300-million commitment for a new incentive program for zero-emission vehicles to help us achieve our targets for new light-duty vehicles in Canada of 10% by 2025, 30% by 2030, and 100% by 2040. The first portion of that amount, $71 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year, is included in these main estimates.
Transport Canada is also requesting $2.1 million in these main estimates for protecting critical cyber systems in the transportation sector. Budget 2019 announced more than $12 million over three years to implement the modernized Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This includes using fines to increase safety compliance, and more flexibility to support safe testing and deployment of innovative technologies.
Budget 2019 also allocated nearly $46 million dollars over three years to support innovation and modernization of Transport Canada's regulatory regime. This would affect commercial testing of remotely piloted aircraft systems beyond visual line of sight, cooperative truck platooning pilot projects, and an enhanced road safety transfer payment program.
I will also provide some highlights from these main estimates for federal agencies and Crown corporations in my portfolio.
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is seeking $875 million, to continue to protect travellers with effective, consistent and high-quality security screening.
Budget 2019 included $288 million for fiscal year 2019-20, to continue securing critical elements of the air transportation system, to protect the public.
Budget 2019 also announced our intention to advance legislation that would enable us to sell the assets and liabilities of CATSA to an independent, not-for-profit entity. The funding envelope for 2019-20 includes transition resources to support this corporate structure change.
Marine Atlantic is seeking nearly $153 million for year-round constitutionally mandated ferry service between North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as non-mandated seasonal service between North Sydney and Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Marine Atlantic brings more than a quarter of all visitors to Newfoundland, and two-thirds of all freight, including 90% of perishables and time-sensitive goods. Marine Atlantic service is vital to the interests of companies that do business in that region and to the people who travel to and from the island of Newfoundland. Budget 2019 mentioned that we will extend support for existing ferry services in eastern Canada and will look to procure three new modern ferries, including one for Marine Atlantic.
VIA Rail Canada is requesting almost $732 million in these main estimates. As our national passenger rail carrier, VIA Rail's objective is to provide a safe, secure, efficient, reliable, and environmentally sustainable passenger service. ln addition to trains that run through the Quebec City—Windsor corridor, and long-haul trains between Toronto and Vancouver and between Montreal and Halifax, this also includes passenger rail service to regional and remote communities, some of which have no access to alternative year round transportation.
ln conclusion, the financial resources outlined in these main estimates will help these agencies, Crown corporations, and Transport Canada to maintain and improve our transportation system. Our transportation system is vital for our economy, and for our quality of life. It is vital for our safety and security. And by making improvements to our transportation system, we are making it safer and more secure.
And we are also creating good, well-paying jobs for the middle class, and ensuring a better quality of life for all Canadians.
I would now be happy to answer any questions you may have.