Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. It takes me a little by surprise, but it is a very good question.
My colleague, who has served on the Standing Committee on Transport, knows that the CPR, to give only one example, acts like it was above the law.
For example, in Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, in the centre of my riding, a rail line begins at Sherbrooke Street and goes right to the Port of Montreal, which is, of course, included in my riding. To meet the economic imperatives of just-in-time delivery of merchandise, and thus support economic development, the quality of life of our citizens has been given short shrift, so that that goods can be shipped around the clock.
That means that my constituents who live near the railway on Wurtele, Dézéry and Frontenac streets—even if it is 2 a.m. and they have to get up at 6—are exposed to noise, vibration, and noise pollution, not to mention the material damage that may occur. Dust and soot drift down all over. It is impossible to open the windows. I have heard some horror stories.
The railroad will not be expropriated, naturally, but Bill C-26 would have helped the parties learn to coexist. Houses will not be moved either. However, there has to be an agreement to end earlier.
I want to give an example. Trains are stopping in residential neighbourhoods and can be stationary for five or six minutes. They get turned off, with all the vibrations this means for the public. This is unacceptable. This harks back to the 19th century of Émile Zola. It is no longer acceptable in 2004 for such things to happen.
I know that, along with the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, we will make this an issue in the next federal election. We will not stop until the government takes appropriate action. At one time, the Liberals had a real government House leader. I know that the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell would have made Bill C-26 a priority. How is it that this bill has not been reinstated? It should have been. It would have been possible to come to an agreement rapidly, at least on this aspect of the bill.
If the government committed to introducing a bill in the next few days, I am certain that all the opposition parties would cooperate with all diligence to ensure its adoption, because this is a matter of quality of life and respect for individuals. Economic development cannot mean disrespect for individual quality of life.
Consequently, there is no word grand enough or powerful enough to express just how incensed the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel and I are to see that the government has abandoned people living along the railroad.