Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank the four colleagues who spoke for their respective parties, with the exception of the Conservative Party. I had been notified in advance that they were in agreement with the motion and I thank them.
As they have said, I believe that the first duty of an MP is to reflect the concerns of the people in his or her riding. That is what I wanted to do. I know that other colleagues have experienced similar problems or have been told of them. My NDP colleague has referred to similar problems in Vancouver. This is not, therefore, the concern of a single member, or a single riding. It concerns marshalling yards in particular, where trains are shunted onto sidings, where trains are made up and so on.
I would like to give a quick reply to the parliamentary secretary, the hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, who has shared his concerns with us, but at the same time I would side with what my colleague from Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel said about jurisdictions.
As far as noise is concerned, he is right in saying that municipalities have a certain power over this, which he explained very well, but the land belongs to the federal government. Sound travels, so a municipality might decide to erect a wall outside the federal property, but when residential areas are already established this requires expropriations. This, in my opinion, is contrary to the polluter-pay principle. Who caused the noise? The CN, with its railway activities.
In a situation where each party had equal responsibility, there would be mediation and each would propose remedies to its part of the problem. The CN does not care in the least. It says that the others need to adapt to its presence. The usefulness of CN is acknowledged, and of course we want to see it prosper.
The parliamentary secretary's response is “Yes, but we have carried out studies and have presented a report. In the coming decade we will have a plan to address such situations”. This makes no sense.
What makes even less sense is that my colleague from the Alliance seems friendly but talks about Kyoto in his speech. The railway noise issue has nothing to do with the Kyoto protocol. He must have lacked substance or time to think about the position to say that.
The NDP has supported my motion. I congratulate and thank them for that. However, I would like to correct one misconception. When they say that citizens were right in Oakville, this is not the case. They were indeed right in the first round, but CN appealed the decision and won.
It is therefore a really important matter and, as everybody knows, the parliamentary secretary considers it important too.
If I were to ask unanimous consent of the House to make this issue votable, I know that the government House leader is usually listening--he has been criticized for some things--but as far as listening to the citizens, I think that he should accept my motion and instruct his party so that this motion be can be made votable.
If the Alliance members are opposed, they can vote against it. But those who support private members' motions should be allowed to vote freely in the House. This motion is intended to guide the government and not to force it to do one thing or another. It only asks for legislation that would amend the Canada Transportation Act and the mandate of the Canadian Transportation Agency. That is it. We are not trying to tell the government exactly what to do.