Thank you, Madam Chair.
Since you have made all the introductions, I can skip over the first part of my statement.
Innovation and modernization present important challenges for the transportation sector. The funds we are seeking would help support modernization that is important to the success of our economy, and to the safety and security of Canadians. Canada must have the infrastructure and services in place to move goods and people to where they need to go, for years to come.
As was outlined in Transportation 2030, my long-term strategy for transportation in Canada, our legislation and regulations must aligned with global standards, and with rapid and complex changes taking place in the transportation sector.
Changes in the transportation sector must be implemented safely—without endangering Canadians or harming our environment—while supporting and strengthening our economy. We must be in step with the sector's fast-moving evolution, or—even better—a step or two ahead.
That means fostering research and innovation, in partnership with stakeholders, other governments, indigenous peoples, academia and others. Adapting to change is not easy, but everyone at Transport Canada, and the crown corporations in my portfolio, embraces the challenges before us.
We have taken already some important steps toward the future. This includes Bill C-49, the transportation modernization act, which is the first major step on the Transportation 2030 path.
The transportation modernization act would amend the Canada Transportation Act and other legislation governing the air, rail, and marine sectors, helping to modernize Canada's transportation system. Through the oceans protection plan, the largest-ever investment to protect Canada's coasts and waterways, we are building a world-leading marine safety system while preserving ecosystems, forging stronger partnerships with indigenous peoples, and engaging coastal communities, industry, and other stakeholders—all with a view to learning more about our oceans.
The proposed Canadian navigable waters act includes robust powers to enforce safeguards and protect the public's right to navigation. The Canadian navigable waters act would provide extra oversight where it's needed most, on navigable waters of greatest importance to Canadians and to indigenous peoples. It would provide more transparency for projects such as dams, mines, and bridges. We welcome the challenges before us and we look forward to the exciting changes the future promises.
In the supplementary estimates before you today, Transport Canada is requesting $755,900 in new funding and $122,400 in statutory forecasts for employee benefits plan costs.
However, most of that is offset by transfers to other government departments, for a small net increase of $175,700. The majority of that offset is a transfer to the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited, which is seeking an increase of $698,500 through these supplementary estimates, to conduct a feasibility and design study for the Cornwall port of entry in Cornwall, Ontario.
In the interim estimates before you today, Transport Canada is seeking $322.8 million in interim supply, to continue providing a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system.
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is seeking $244.2 million to continue protecting the public through effective and efficient screening of air travellers and their baggage.
VIA Rail is seeking $134.5 million to continue providing safe, reliable and efficient passenger rail service.
Marine Atlantic is seeking $37.8 million to continue providing safe, environmentally responsible, and reliable ferry services.
The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited is seeking $900,000 to upgrade the roadway connecting the north and south channel Seaway International Bridges at Cornwall.
The Canadian Transportation Agency is seeking $9.4 million to continue its work as an economic regulator that administers relevant transportation legislation.
Madam Chair, Transport Canada, the crown corporations in my portfolio, and I are committed to sound fiscal management and stewardship of government resources on behalf of Canadian taxpayers. The financial resources sought through these supplementary and interim estimates would help ensure our transportation system continues to serve Canadian needs, as I mentioned earlier, to move goods and people to where they need to go safely and securely for years to come.
I'd be very happy now to answer any questions.