Mr. Speaker, since arriving in Ottawa, I have heard from numerous stakeholders about the need for the federal government to commit to improving rail services.
Recently, in a meeting with the mayor of Stratford, and in a letter from the mayor of St. Marys, it was made clear to me that local rail service is an area of much concern.
Rail service is very important to the people of southwestern Ontario. Tourism and manufacturing industries rely on the rails. The railway lines are what helped to bring prosperity to this region of the country and, if the federal does its part, can promise to deliver continued success for the future.
If Canada is to meet the lofty goals set out under the Kyoto protocol then, surely, safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly rail lines will be a major part of meeting these obligations.
Instead of cutting back service, the federal government needs to commit to provide the resources necessary to offer the best level of service possible.