Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand and speak on behalf of the coalition for Bill C-34. I hope my colleague from the NDP is not disappointed in the fact that the legislation will do nothing to allow her province or any other province to bring the issue of infrastructure to the government's attention.
I believe I am the only speaker today who attended the committee meeting when the legislation was reviewed. It is a piece of legislation that just responds to decisions that the government has made with regard to the aviation acts, the marine acts and the rail acts. The bill has no presence at this point with the trucking transportation network.
I am pleased to hear that the minister is looking at other legislation regarding transportation. One concern I have had over the years is that there has been a dire lack of a transportation plan by the government. I am hopeful that the legislation we can look forward to receiving is an indication that the government actually has a plan for transportation in Canada. I hope that plan for transportation looks at transportation networks on a continental basis and not just from a national level, although our attention is at a national level.
I am hopeful that the minister respects, and the legislation shows that he does, that each modal of transportation does not operate in isolation. They all interconnect one way or another.
Bill C-34 is basically a housekeeping piece of legislation and is probably long overdue. The aviation tribunal, the predecessor of the tribunal being established, has been successful in meeting the requirements and concerns of the aviation industry.
I am hopeful that reputation and response will continue through marine and rail modals. I am hopeful that the appointments to be made will take into consideration that we need expertise not only from aviation, but from the other modes of transportation as well.
I suggest that the timing of this is probably very appropriate as there have been changes to the marine transportation which may down the road cause some concerns that decisions might be made by governments that want to be challenged.
We had the marine legislation brought before us over the last year and a half which made changes to the way that operates. This tribunal will broaden its scope and will allow the marine industry to question some of the decisions that are made as a result of that legislation. The timing is very good for this particular change.
I mentioned at the committee that we had been assured by the department that it had received input from the marine and rail industries as to the tribunal and the operations it would be partaking in. We understand from government officials in transportation that the concerns of those industries have been addressed and that this legislation is acceptable to them. Having not heard from either the rail or the marine industry, the committee believed that they it was right in moving forward and giving the government its assurance that we would be supporting this.
I am pleased on behalf of the coalition, to give the government our support for increasing the responsibilities of the tribunal to include the marine and the rail industry. We look forward to another successful tenure for those people who are appointed to the tribunal and that they help the government make the right decisions to move the transportation industries forward in the future.
I urge the minister to look at transportation planning from a broad perspective, including all modals, not just nationally but also continentally.