Mr. Speaker, even though my presentation will be split in half, with the time approaching 9 o'clock, I will try to get some NDP points across before we terminate this evening. I will come back tomorrow to talk more about Bill C-11. I am not sure that will interest the Conservatives in the room because I have to be critical about this one step forward and two steps back. This is the nature of the way Conservatives tackle transportation policy.
Bill C-11 makes some modest improvements in some areas, and I will come back in a moment to what the Senate has done to diminish those improvements.
At the same time as we are moving forward with C-11 and the Senate amendments, the government is now pushing Bill C-6, which will diminish airline safety in Canada, by handing over responsibility to the companies themselves. Some of these companies will handle it well, while other companies, as testimony very clearly showed, will not handle it in a responsible way. The government, unfortunately, is proceeding along the same path as the Liberals did by diminishing the type of air safety that Canadians want to see. I will have a chance to talk about that issue later.
I will come back to Bill C-11. The bill is disappointing because even though it does make some modest progress in a number of areas, it could have gone much further. The NDP offered up dozens of amendments to strengthen the bill, some of which we were able to get through and some of which were rejected by the Conservatives and Liberals on committee.
The bill provides more honesty around airfares, something for which Canadians have been calling. Canadians are sick and tired of the manipulation they see around airfares and incomplete airfares being advertised. Bill C-11 does provide some modest framework around how airfares can be advertised.
This is one of the elements that was attacked by the other House. It is deplorable to the NDP that even though the provisions were modest, they could have been improved, but we see a step backward as the Senate amendments come back to the House.
There are some provisions in the legislation for shippers. Hopefully, other provisions for shippers will be contained in Bill C-58, which will be coming forward in the House. It is, by no means, as far as the government could have gone, and it is disappointing. We have taken one step forward, yet we see steps back in other areas.
There is finally a process in place for railway noise, and this is very welcome. As we saw under 13 years of Liberal government, nothing was done to address important issues for Canadians. Railways make excessive noise in urban communities.
We heard testimony from Mayor Wayne Wright of my riding of Burnaby—New Westminster. Brian Allen, who is a resident of Westminster Key, is a very strong activist for diminishing railway noise. The citizens of Westminster Key are constantly subjected to excessive railway noise. They provided some valuable input to the committee.
The NDP put forward amendments that would have provided a strict framework for railway companies so they could not make excessive noise in the evening and overnight, particularly when there are shunting yards in the area of the Lower Mainland, away from urban areas, in Port Mann. We offered those amendments after that valuable input from some of the citizens of New Westminster. We were able to incorporate some but not all of those improvements.
We have a step back with the Senate amendments. The Senate wants to take us backward to a time when railway companies could essentially prove reasonableness in their level of noise in urban communities, as opposed to what the transport committee actually came up with, which required railway companies to cause as little noise and vibration as possible.
We had modest improvements. We at least had a process finally in place after many years of the Liberals ignoring the issue. The committee put forward modest improvements, and the NDP wanted to go much further. The modest improvements have been thrown away and now the bill is back in the House.
As parliamentarians, we have to take a stand against those Senate amendments. They water down what were modest improvements in Bill C-11 in necessary areas, areas that we had to attack, areas that Canadians looked for redress for some time, yet they were dealt with only partially.
I believe my time is up for this evening, but I look forward to coming back to this issue tomorrow.