Evidence of meeting #1 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was chair.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Marie-France Lafleur

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

All right. That sounds good.

Thank you, Chair.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Mr. Sidhu, go ahead.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maninder Sidhu Liberal Brampton East, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

With regard to the motion I'd like to present, we know that in the transportation sector, labour shortages existed before COVID and they still exist now. The issue is that we have a large transportation sector here in Brampton East, and a big transportation corridor. A lot of drivers are scared and considering other careers. We already have a shortage, so I think this is an important study.

The wording of my motion is as follows: “That the committee commit to undertake a study focusing on current and anticipated labour shortages in the Canadian transportation sector, for example truck drivers, mariners, maintenance staff, trainers/instructors and various types of engineers and technicians in the aviation sector. The study would identify the implications of such shortages and look at possible solutions to alleviate problems stemming from them; and that, in consultation with the committee members, the Chair be empowered to coordinate the resources and scheduling necessary to execute these studies in six meetings or fewer.”

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you, Mr. Sidhu.

I will now go on to Ms. Kusie.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Thank you, Chair.

I have a number of motions that I will present.

The first motion is with regard to the main estimates: “That the committee call upon the Minister of Transport and officials from the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to discuss the spending priorities outlined in the main estimates, and this meeting occur before November 20, 2020.”

I'll move on to my motions for our proposed studies as well, to add to that from my Liberal colleague.

Our first motion is as follows: “That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee undertake a study of four meetings in regard to Transport Canada's aircraft certification process, including, but not limited to, the nature of Transport Canada's relationship to the Federal Aviation Administration and other certifying bodies, as well as the role of airplane manufacturers in the certification process; that the evidence and documentation received by the committee during the first session of the 43rd Parliament on the subject be taken into consideration by the committee in the current session; that the committee completes its study by November 27, 2020; and that the committee present its findings and recommendations to the House.”

Mr. Chair, this is just to complete the study that began prior to prorogation. I believe we have an obligation to Canadians and affected parties to conclude this study and make our recommendations.

I'll go on to my next motion with regard to studies:

That the Committee undertake a study of four meetings on the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation sector; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.

I think the translation isn't working again, or perhaps Ms. Kusie is on the wrong channel.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

I am on the wrong channel. My apologies.

In my attempt to work in both official languages, I did not put it on the correct channel.

I have now put it on the right channel, and I will repeat my motion:

That the Committee undertake a study of four meetings on the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation sector; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.

My third one is: “That the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities undertake a study on rapid testing for COVID-19 in the transportation sector; and that the committee report its findings, including its recommendations, to the House, and the government respond to the committee's recommendations.”

My fourth one is: “That the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities undertake a study as to the impact of COVID-19 on supply chains, particularly supply chains involving aviation, shipping; and that the committee report its findings, including recommendations, to the House.”

My final one is: “That the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities undertake a study on the proposed Alaska to Alberta railway; and that the committee reports its findings, including the recommendations, to the House.”

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you, Mrs. Kusie.

Mr. Bachrach.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I have three motions, for which I would like to provide notice.

The first one relates to infrastructure funding: “That the committee commit to undertake a study related to the mandate and activities of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, including a review of the projects that the bank has supported and possible alternative mechanisms for funding comparable projects; and that no fewer than four meetings be set aside for the study.”

The second motion relates to the investing in Canada plan and the climate lens. The motion reads: “That the committee commit to undertake a study related to the implementation and effectiveness of the climate lens requirement to Infrastructure Canada's investing in Canada infrastructure program, ICIP; its disaster mitigation and adaptation fund, the MAF; and its smart cities challenge; and that no fewer than four meetings be set aside for the study.”

The third and final motion relates to broadband infrastructure: “That the committee commit to undertake a study related to the implementation and effectiveness of Government of Canada programs to support high-speed Internet and cell infrastructure in rural, remote and northern communities; and that no fewer than four meetings be set aside for the study.”

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you, Mr. Bachrach.

Mr. Barsalou-Duval, please go ahead.

4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I have four motions to submit to the committee. Could the clerk confirm that she has actually received them, because another person was acting as the clerk beforehand? I don't know whether the information actually got to her. We can send them to her if necessary.

Here is my first motion:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee undertake a study on the sale of Air Transat and its impact on the air transportation sector in Canada; that, in order to thoroughly study the situation, an order of the Committee be issued for the production of Transport Canada’s reports, documents, memoranda, notes and other records relating to the sale of Air Transat and that they be delivered to the Clerk of the Committee within fifteen days following the adoption of this motion.

This, of course, is a motion about the sale of Air Transat, which has important repercussions on competition. The Minister of Transport has recognized that himself by launching a public interest assessment on the very transaction.

My second motion is as follows:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee undertake a study on regional air transportation issues in the context of Air Canada’s withdrawal of service from more than 30 regional routes and on measures and solutions that could be introduced to ensure adequate service that meets the needs of the regions affected by these withdrawals; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.

So this is about the major elimination of regional services. I feel that we have to focus on this in order to find lasting solutions to the problem, which is due in part to COVID-19. The problem existed before, but COVID-19 has made it worse.

Here's the next motion:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee undertake a study on airline policies to deny refunds in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility of the Department of Transport to adopt and issue directives consistent with consumers’ rights; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.

This is about the travel credits and the many plane tickets for which consumers have not been reimbursed. The airlines are refusing to reimburse people who, in a way, have lost their money.

My final motion is as follows:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee undertake a study on government policies and measures in place with respect to transportation electrification and proposals for improvements; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.

I feel the motion speaks for itself.

Thank you very much for letting me introduce these motions, Mr. Chair.

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you, Mr. Barsalou-Duval.

I'm now going to move on to Mr. Rogers.

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Churence Rogers Liberal Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, NL

Thanks, Mr. Chair.

I have a motion that relates to identifying innovative technology and solutions for cargo delivery in northern rural and remote communities: “That the committee commit to undertake a study focusing on the role that innovative technology such as drones or the latest generation of airships can play in delivering cargo to northern and remote communities that are challenging to service using existing transportation infrastructure; and that, in consultation with committee members, the chair be empowered to coordinate the resources and scheduling necessary to execute these studies in six meetings or fewer.”

Thanks, Mr. Chair.

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you, Mr. Rogers.

Mr. Bittle.

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.

My motion is fairly similar to one of the motions brought forward by Mrs. Kusie. Hopefully the subcommittee will be able to merge these together if the committee deems it a priority. It would be a general study—a little broader than what Mrs. Kusie discussed—of biosecurity in the transportation sector.

The motion is as follows: “ That the committee undertake a study focusing on the role that innovative biotechnology—for example, temperature screening, retinal scans and face recognition—can play in improving the safety and security of our transportation sector, including increasing public confidence in said sector; and that, in consultation with the committee members, the chair be empowered to coordinate the resources of scheduling necessary to execute these studies in six meetings or fewer.”

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you, Mr. Bittle.

Ms. Jaczek, please go ahead.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Helena Jaczek Liberal Markham—Stouffville, ON

It's certainly nice to see so much enthusiasm for so many different studies coming from members of the committee. Our committee, of course, is transport, infrastructure and communities. My motion addresses particularly infrastructure and communities. The motion is: “That the committee undertake a study on the ability of targeted infrastructure investment to influence social, economic and environmental outcomes and improve the lives of Canadians in underserved and vulnerable communities; that the committee examine the socio-economic profile of where infrastructure funding has flowed historically; and that the committee study best practices in Canada and abroad for ensuring infrastructure investments reach communities most in need.”

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Mr. El-Khoury, please go ahead.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Fayçal El-Khoury Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Chair, I also have a motion to introduce.

I move:

That the Committee commit to undertaking a study on the industrial capacity of the construction sector in order to determine how much investment can be made in the Canadian economy each year to ensure full employment in the construction sector and related supply chains, how to obtain maximum performance of these investments and how to do so without causing unwarranted inflation in project costs; and that the study examine the potential of current programs and commitments from all levels of government to boost capacity.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you, Mr. El-Khoury.

Are there any further questions, comments or motions? Is there any further business?

Madam Clerk, do you have any comments?

4:20 p.m.

The Clerk

No. Thank you.

I did receive the motions from Mr. Barsalou-Duval, and I can distribute the motions to all of the members in both official languages.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Thank you.

It will be my intent to secure a date for a subcommittee meeting. We haven't received any indication from our whips, nor from the clerk, that there is a future meeting scheduled, but I do believe we can take that opportunity to schedule a subcommittee.

The question I have for members is about the makeup of the subcommittee itself. Madam Clerk, last time around, I believe our subcommittee was made up of all parties. Can you confirm that?

October 13th, 2020 / 4:20 p.m.

The Clerk

Yes, absolutely. We just adopted the routine motion saying that it should be members of all recognized parties and that it be five members. Normally, I confirm with the whips as to who exactly would be the members for the subcommittee.

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Vance Badawey

Wonderful. Are there any questions or comments on that?

With no further business before us, I will now adjourn this meeting.

Thank you very much, folks.