Madam Speaker, I listened to the hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, who just spoke.
I just got back from a tour during which I took a look at transportation in my region. I toured the Gaspé Peninsula. I know that the hon. member represents a riding located in the Vancouver area, so perhaps he is not experiencing this problem. However, even though we support the bill now before us, this does not in any way solve the issue of transportation in remote areas.
I would like to tell the hon. member that, as regards air transportation, the situation has become a catastrophe at home. Service in our region used to be provided by an Air Canada subsidiary, but that company is about to cut service completely.
As for rail transportation—the train used to belong to CN and VIA Rail—currently, a train leaves Gaspé only once or twice a week, depending on the circumstances. This is getting utterly ridiculous.
There is also the other rumour regarding a request by certain companies for the deregulation of transportation by bus, which is more or less the only mode of transportation that we have left in our region. Right now, it is practically the only mode of public transportation. Air transportation, with its exorbitant costs, is also bound to disappear, despite the Quebec government's efforts to prevent that from happening.
I believe that the cause of all this is the deregulation of transportation. Air Canada finally eliminated its competitor, Inter-Canadien, by reducing prices, which left it alone. Today, Air Canada is not profitable and is on the brink of bankruptcy. Therefore, because of deregulation, we will lose access to air transportation.
I would like to give my colleague an example regarding transportation by bus, which is regulated. We have an excellent service. What were bus carriers offered so they would provide service to remote areas? They were offered protected routes, that is profitable routes where they have no competition, which enables them to provide good service to remote areas like ours.
I am convinced that, without such regulation of transportation by bus, people who live in northern British Columbia would face the same situation as we do. The same goes for people in northern Ontario and in all of western Canada, who are spread out over a vast territory.
That being said, I would ask my colleague the following question. I would like to know if he would be in favour of a new form of regulation that would give an air carrier protected and profitable routes to enable it to provide service to regions such as mine, namely the Gaspé Peninsula and the lower St. Lawrence area.