Mr. Speaker, today is national transportation day and next week is national transportation week in Canada.
Organizations have scheduled a variety of transportation related activities and seminars in major cities around the country, including Hamilton, Ontario, where the ninth annual international Great Lakes-St. Lawrence mayors conference will discuss, among other matters, transportation issues.
The theme of national transportation week is "Careers in Transportation: Opportunities, Training, Skills". As the Minister of Transport has said, the coming century will bring new pressure to increase Canada's productivity. This pressure will have an enormous impact on the skilled professionals who design, build, operate, and maintain our transportation system.
Today's dedicated transportation workers are expected to be skilled in technology, management, administration, and public relations. As we pay tribute to the skilled and dedicated people who keep our transportation system running, we must also ensure that those who succeed them have new skills needed for the 21st century.
I also want to congratulate Mr. Geoffrey Elliot, the national transportation person of the year. Without his timeless efforts Canadians would not have the many benefits resulting from the recent open skies agreement with the United States.