April 2, 1993

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT


The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-83, an act respecting the transportation of goods by water, as reported (with amendments) from the Standing Committee on Transport.


PC

Shirley Martin (Minister of State (Transport))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Shirley Martin (for the Minister of Transport) moved

that Bill C-83, an act respecting the transportation of goods by water, as amended, be concurred in.

Motion agreed to.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Shirley Martin (Minister of State (Transport))

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Martin (for the Minister of Transport) moved

that the bill be read the third time and passed.

She said: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present for third reading Bill C-83, an act respecting the transportation of goods by water. This act is intended to modernize Canadian legislation concerned with the rules of liability and compensation for damage or loss of goods during carriage by water.

The new act will make Canada's shipping laws more consistent with those of its trading partners.

I would like to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Transport for their consideration of this bill, the specific amendments which they proposed and which clarify certain aspects of the new legislation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie (N.D.P. Deputy House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg Transcona):

Madam Speaker, I too am pleased to rise on behalf of my colleagues with respect to Bill C-83, the carriage of goods by water act. This bill tabled by the government provides for the

Minister of Transport to report to the House of Commons on the advisability of replacing the existing Hague-Visby rules with the Hamburg rules. That action would take place prior to December 31, 1999.

I want to say that the NDP transport critic, the member for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, is unable to be here today. Nevertheless he was instrumental in the process that led up to the debate we are having today. He suggested to the committee and was able to convince the Standing Committee on Transport which reviewed this bill to change it to require the report by the minister be automatically forwarded to the Standing Committee on Transport and the committee have the power to "undertake a review of the minister's report and the committee shall report its findings back to the House including a statement on the advisability of enacting the Hamburg rules".

While to most people this change would seem to be an extremely minor one, it is part of the broader issue which I am also interested in of giving additional powers and responsibilities to standing committees.

Too often the standing committee is excluded from the decision-making process. While from time to time ministers refer specific matters to a standing committee, such as the white paper on freedom to move and deregulation and the National Transportation Agency Review Commission report, as another one that comes to mind, at other times the committee itself decides to embark on a review of a policy matter such as the VIA Rail cuts, high speed rail, or the St. Lawrence Seaway, for example. Nevertheless there is still a broad range of policy decision making that standing committees have not been involved in. This is one more way of involving the standing committee in a meaningful way in the policymaking process.

Many bills passed by the House have a mandatory review provision built into them. In some cases the review occurs after the act has been in place for five years like the WGTA or three years like the Transportation Safety Board. In these cases the government appoints an independent commission to conduct the work.

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The NTA review commission, which was just recently completed, cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. There are those of us who believe that the Standing Committee on Transport which reviewed the original policy paper, Freedom to Move and the enabling legislation, could have done the job of the five-year review at considerably lower cost to the taxpayer and, I might say, I think with different conclusions.

The same argument could be made for the now under way review of the Transportation Safety Board Act being conducted only three years after the act was passed. The transport committee helped create the new board through its work in reviewing the original act and they could be charged with the task of seeing how well that act is working.

In any event what we have before us today is a small step for the transport committee and for parliamentary reform in so far as it affects the committee, but it is one that we are happy to see.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

John Paul Manley

Liberal

Mr. John Manley (Ottawa South):

Madam Speaker, I was not sure it was necessary to engage in debate on this bill but perhaps in response to the remarks made by the member for Winnipeg Transcona I would like to affirm the fact that the committee in considering this legislation, Bill C-83 as well as Bill C-97, operated on a very co-operative and non-partisan basis. Amendments proposed by all three parties were accepted in the course of the discussions concerning the bill. I think on all sides our feeling was that the effort of the transport committee in reviewing this legislation improved its quality.

It was a demonstration of the fact that when presented with the task, in this case the revision of the private international law concerning carriage of goods by sea, this place can work effectively together and can contribute added value to the legislative process.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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BQ

Louis Plamondon (Bloc Québécois House Leader)

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Louis Plamondon (Richelieu):

Madam Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to rise in this House to speak on Bill C-83.

This act respecting the transportation of goods by water which was referred to the transport committee has brought to light an issue that ought to be pointed out in

this debate at report stage. Through the transport committee, we could, without prejudice to efficiency, with members who are interested in transportation, allow this committee to get more involved in terms of recommendations and encourage government to pay attention to these recommendations.

For one thing, the transport committee could very well do the work that independent commissions are set up for. Independent commissions are created right and left to make recommendations to government, and then these recommendations are implemented, be it in transportation or other areas. What if, to save money in these recessionary times, government decided to pay more attention-which I think it did indeed in this bill-to the input from the transport committee? Then, the legislative committees could recommend that such and such amendment or item be examined at the transport committee level. This way, instead of spending thousands of dollars on independent commissions, the government could use the money to let parliamentarians-because there would not just be members of Parliament involved-play a much more interesting part in this process.

Members of Parliament, especially those with no direct connection to cabinet, regularly complain about not being involved in the decision-making process. And this is true of members on both side of this House. This is a fine example of them actually playing an active part in developing recommendations. The same should be done at the standing committee level to develop recommendations that would be taken into account by government and save the cost of independent commissions-we are talking about millions of dollars here-which end up duplicating the recommendations from the standing committee and then, in many instances, the recommendations are shelved for years.

A major point to bear in mind while debating this bill, as the NDP spokesperson pointed out, is the renewal of some legislation after five years. That colleague was saying that, instead of relying on an independent commission to renew the act for five years, the Committee on Transport could, during its regular work, make that recommendation and thus avoid duplication. God knows there is a lot of duplication here in the House of Commons, as well as in provincial legislatures, which is very unfortunate. It is necessary in times of economic

April 2, 1993

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crisis to reduce gouvernment spending and that seems tacts with the people, their contacts with groups involved very important to me. in transportation or, for that matter, in other areas.

We say in this bill that we must review transport safety every three years. Well, all the boards that are being set up could be monitored by the Committee on Transport instead of independent commissions hired by contract to submit recommendations.

I have an example in my riding of a lady, Mrs. Chaloux, whose husband unfortunately died at sea. She had to wait a year and a half before she got the safety report from the government.

It was during a meeting that I arranged for her and which took place on March 4 in Montreal that the board in question agreed to give her the safety report. Her husband has been dead for two years and she still does not know why he died. And how was that ship allowed to sail considering the state of its safety equipment? Several people died, and in that area of the Lower St. Lawrence, several accidents happened.

The boards that are appointed and which make recommendations to us every three years are often not as close to the day-to-day reality of things that are happening in the transportation area than are members of Parliament, who have the feeling on their side, who sit on the Committee on Transport and are involved in it. It is an example that we must follow in the future business of the House and the committees. It seems to me that on the democratic road that will guide us for the years to come, there should be an incentive, even a commitment from the government to take into account the recommendations from the standing committees, such as the one on transport, and to reduce considerably the number of independent commissions and contracts that are awarded to them which often look like patronage to reward some friends of the party or to give a few contracts to lobbyists who are a little too annoying.

In that sense we are wasting the Canadian or Quebecer taxpayers' money by disregarding the role of members, their recommendations, their observations, their con-

Moreover, by involving members we would realize substantial savings. I repeat that this is duplication since members already do that work on the transport committee which makes recommendations so there is no point striking an independent commission to confirm the same thing. This belittles the role of hon. members. Conversely it is gratifying to be able to act, to be the focal point for the demands of our regions, and this is a role members want to play, especially those we call backbenchers. Committee members would feel that they are doing something useful. They would feel part of the democratic process of government. Moreover, this would save money and we know how badly the government wants to control spending.

The committee which worked on this is a good example of what I am saying. It came up with interesting recommendations. As mentioned earlier, the government spokesperson underlined the fact that we came up with some sort of consensus following transport committee hearings. Thanks to the efforts of all political parties involved, the committee was able to agree on recommendations.

I am glad, as a member of the Bloc Quebecois, to say that we are going to give our support to this bill which results from a real democratic reflection and involvement of all political parties. As was said earlier about the Hamburg rule, we had a greater involvement of members in committee, an enhanced role for the transport committee, a fact which in the future might pave the way for other recommendations and a similar role for other committees. I thank the hon. member for Longueuil, the transport critic, for allowing me to say a few words on this subject. Normally he would be the one to address the House on such important matters. The hon. member for Laval is asking: "Why not today?" He very kindly let me speak first, being the House leader, but I assume he will have his own comments to add as well, considering a public statement he made recently about Montreal's two airports.

April 2, 1993

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Our critic also sat on the transport committee, and he was somewhat surprised to hear that Pearson was the only airport designated as national by the Minister of Transport, the others being considered regional airports.

Obviously a review is necessary. Our position is that we are here to defend the interests of Quebec in the House of Commons. The minister decided, for instance, to help Canadian and not Nationair. I think he was right, but he should have refused to help Canadian as well. However, these decisions should have been considered within the context of a comprehensive review of air transportation in Canada and of the entire transportation sector.

We want to defend the interests of Quebec here in the House of Commons in no uncertain terms. We feel that any policies being considered by the minister should include a comprehensive review of air transport and of the entire transportation sector in this country. For instance, he should have refused to help Canadian as he refused to help Nationair, which was the right decision.

Until there is a comprehensive review our critic will have some very interesting things to say and publish very shortly in the party platform the Bloc Quebecois is preparing for the next election campaign regarding the specific role we will play in this House in securing a return on the money we pay to the federal government.

As long as we pay taxes to Ottawa we will have a return on those taxes. This is vital in the transportation sector.

My transport critic pointed out the monumental mistake made by Parliament when it decided on the location of Mirabel airport. The highway link is no longer possible because it would now cost $150,000 to go under the runways.

They should have listened to the Government of Quebec and selected a site for the airport near Saint-Jean, Saint-Hyacinthe or Drummondville. It would have been in Quebec's economic heartland and the province's economic interests would have been well served. This was a monumental mistake.

I am not saying it was the present government's fault. This was done by the previous government but it is clear the present government is perpetuating, not correcting the mistakes made by the previous government. The

same applies to the deficit. The deficit was criticized for years, and now it has become intolerable. In fact, an initial deficit of $200 billion has now more than doubled under the Conservative government.

Basically nothing has changed. Increasingly Quebecers realize that they would be better off managing their own interests, their own money, both in the transportation sector and in other sectors. They would, of course, respect the rights of other Canadians and want to establish economic ties with the rest of Canada. Quebecers would like to see their taxes managed exclusively by the people and their elected representatives in the National Assembly and not by a government next door that redistributes taxes through equalization payments which it can freeze at any time, thus creating an imbalance of $700 or $800 million. This is what happened to Quebec during the past two years. The Quebec government had to take this shortfall and pass it on to the school boards and municipalities because it was not getting enough money from the federal government, equalization payments being frozen.

This is really too bad. We see this happening with equalization payments and we see the same thing in the transport sector. The Minister of Transport has sorely neglected the needs of the Montreal region. This coupled with poor decision making which has affected the transport sector in Quebec, has caused the Montreal region to suffer tremendous economic setbacks during the past ten years.

There is a pressing need for transferring authority in the transport and other sectors to Quebec's elected representatives. Under an economic union, we could have agreements reflecting the interests of the two countries that will soon constitute the territoiy still referred to today as Canada.

In conclusion I hope that hon. members will consider the committee's recommendations and that the report stage of Bill C-83 will be adopted as soon as possible. Very specific recommendations were made and an indepth study was conducted by the committees which considered the bill, including the transport committee. I think the NDP critic did an extremely good job on this committee. His comments and the amendments to the recommendations he suggested impressed most committee members.

April 2, 1993

The Government was very open-minded with that bill. Nevertheless it should be amended. This study on water transportation of goods will have an important impact in terms of safety-I mentioned earlier the case of Mrs. Chaloux-and in terms of better management of water transport without increasing the cost of that mode of transportation. We know that in all departments and agencies costs have a tendency to rise not excessively but too quickly in my view when compared to Canada's revenue in these times of deep economic recession.

I do not know exactly how much time I have left, but I will conclude by saying once again that I hope other members will comment on this bill. I am surprised by the government's brief statement. One can feel it is engaging in the report stage almost reluctantly. I would have preferred a speech with definite substance that would have shown some will on the part of the Tory government to implement this bill as soon as possible and to try to get royal assent from the Senate, also as soon as possible, particularly in the matter of water safety. I am really concerned about that aspect because of my work with the Standing Committee on Transport.

I see the member for Saint-Maurice is in the House. I know how great his interests and his competence are in the area of transport. He was a member of the transport committee where he made many valuable statements and recommendations. I remember for example during conflicts and closures in Montreal, namely at Via Rail and the CN, the member for Saint-Maurice made a strong statement just by referring to some articles in the collective agreement, if I am not mistaken, making rail transport very expensive.

He is well known also for his expertise in the transportation of goods by water. I would be very happy to hear him corroborate what the NDP critic said as well as what the Liberal critic had to say. I would be happy to hear the member for Saint-Maurice, being aware of his expertise and of his talent regarding transportation as well as of the investigative mind he has always applied in this field and for which he was greatly admired by all the members of the transport committee. Actually I think that he was chairman or vice-chairman of this committee at one point.

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Such expertise would certainly be very useful to the House today if he would be so kind as to share his point of view on transportation by water with us. As I said his opinion ar.d his sound judgement in this field for which he is well known would be very useful to the House today. I am convinced that he could tell us how vigorously he had to intervene during caucus meetings to press the point that this bill was fair and necessary, especially in terms of transport safety and duplication of services.

He was a member of this committee along with several Conservative members and he did an excellent job. I congratulate him. It is said that we are more inclined to congratulate someone when we know he will not run again, but that is not the case for me. I have always had an excellent relationship with the member for Saint-Maurice in our discussions regarding transportation in the years to come and the future of the Mauricie area. I know how dear these two issues are to him and how dedicated he is to them. It is regardless of whether he runs again or not that I am asking him to intervene today on this issue in order to enrich this debate at the report stage so that when we take a vote on it, at third reading or at report stage, we will have had more in-depth participation from Conservative members. There was just one speech from the government this morning which lasted only a few minutes and I think that this is clearly not enough at report stage to highlight the last day of the final debate on Bill C-83.

I also have mixed feelings regarding the Liberal member's remarks. Somehow I know that he did a very good job in committee and, as always, his work reflected his perception of the way we should go about the democratic process in the House of Commons and particularly in committees. He worked hard to reach a consensus on that important matter and to avoid confrontation. For instance, his arguments on duplication, and particularly on security, gave transparency to the bill and convinced all political parties of the desirability of reaching for unanimity, even the independent members who showed great interest and admiration. I see that my 20 minutes are over.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for allowing me to express my opinion and I want to congratulate all the members who sat on the committee.

April 2, 1993

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I hope this bill will be adopted very quickly because it is amounts of money only to get to the result that transport in the best interest of Canadians and Quebecers. companies in general end up having deficit after deficit.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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BQ

Nic Leblanc (Bloc Québécois Caucus Chair)

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Nic Leblanc (Longueuil):

Madam Speaker, first of all I would like to speak especially-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

If the hon. member will allow me I would just like to call the attention of the House on one thing. I have carefully listened to the hon. member for Richelieu who seems to believe, having said so a few times, that we are at the report stage. As no motion for amendment had been reported from the legislative committee, I have first put, a few minutes after 10 a.m., the motion for concurrence in the report to the House, which has been agreed. We are now at third reading. That is why the hon. member for Richelieu had 20 minutes. If we had been at report stage he would have had only 10 minutes, as he well knows since he is well aware of the procedure.

His 20 minutes at third reading are up. Questions and comments. Would the hon. member for Longueuil please tell the Chair if he is standing for questions and comments or for debate. I need to know in order to time

his speech.

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Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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BQ

Nic Leblanc (Bloc Québécois Caucus Chair)

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Leblanc (Longueuil):

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask a few questions and make some comments on the very good speech made by the hon. member for Richelieu- It is very good because it is a substantive speech.

We have three or four different modes of transport, whether it is by water, by air or by rail, and I have always deplored the fact that there are several governments involved in that area, whether municipal, provincial or federal, and so little common interest between the different governments or even within the federal department.

The big problem we see lies in a blatant lack of dialogue. Often, for example, water transport is supported to the detriment of rail transport or to the detriment of air transport and as a result governments spend money to promote air transport while subsidizing rail or water transports which compete between themselves. Governments spend money to promote one to the detriment of the other and then subsidize the other to the detriment of the first one. This becomes a kind of vicious circle wherein governments spend staggering

As we have seen the air and rail transport industries are faced with huge deficits mainly because of a lack of co-operation between the various levels of government.

When I was a government member, the member for Roberval, the then Minister of Transport, decided to cut down VTA's funding. I asked him if he had consulted with the public transit authorities in Montreal to see if some of the lines could be used for urban transit in the Montreal area. He said that matter did not come within his responsibility and that his only concern was with VIA. Since urban transit was an area of provincial jurisdiction it was not his problem.

When a minister shows very little interest in co-operating with other levels of government we have to realize that it is going to cost a bundle. That explains the present deficit which is $10 billion over the government's forecast for 1992.

That is absolutely unacceptable and that is why I have decided to take part in this debate today. The situation in the transportation industry is a real mess.

I would like to know if the hon. member for Richelieu agrees with me that there is a total lack of co-operation between the various transportation modes in Canada.

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Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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BQ

Louis Plamondon (Bloc Québécois House Leader)

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Plamondon:

Madam Speaker, I see that the hon. member for Manicouagan seems quite interested by the nice comment just made by the hon. member for Longueuil, so much so in fact that I take his smile as applause. He does not want to disturb this House, even though this could be rather easily done, given the small number of members who seem to take an interest in this very important debate.

I want to thank the hon. member for Longueuil who, by pointing out what goes on at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, as well as with the different commissions, raised precisely the issue which I wanted to bring up, namely the duplication and the indescribable mess in the field of transport because of the number of offices.

This bill deals with the transportation of goods by sea.

I mentioned earlier the case where we had to wait for two years to get the results of an inquiry in the death of three or four people. This is unbelievable. The situation

April 2, 1993

is such because of the complexity of the administration of the different offices of the Department of Transport.

The situation is the same in the railroad sector. We discovered that a field where wheat had been sowed for 33 years still belonged, at least in part, to CN. It took 33 years before finally deciding to sell a strip of land the length of the House of Commons to the farmer who had been cultivating it for 33 years. This is an example of the mess to which the hon. member for Longueuil referred.

In my constituency there is a railway which they have just decided to abandon. The bridges linking the two regions of my riding fell 20 years ago and had never been repaired. Twenty years went by before deciding to abandon a line which was not used by any train. It took two and a half years to make the decision. The decision was made that long ago, but it will take another year before the land is transferred to owners along the railway. You can imagine the mess.

On the other hand, if the transport committee, as I said earlier, could make recommendations if not decisions which would be binding for the minister, it could ensure the review of each case of nonchalance by the offices and the various bodies which manage the transportation sector in Canada and particularly the transportation of goods by water. In the latter we know the demands made by the security officers regarding safety.

We are downgrading their services, considering them as insignificant safety officers on the same level as much lower officials. These officers have met every member of the House in the past month. The debate on it here has been incredible; they almost want to make ship inspection completely routine. That is an officer would go on the boat with a short questionnaire in which he would ask, for example, if they have a certain kind of pump or such and such a system. He would check off the appropriate box just as if you were being questioned for health insurance and are asked if you ever had a certain disease. You say no. The report is put in a drawer and that is the end of it. At the present time safety inspectors get on board and do the checks based on their training and knowledge about safety. They can do that and thanks to them we have not had a major accident in the river but a great danger is approaching. Safety conditions are deteri-

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orating badly on Canadian vessels plying the waters of Quebec and Canada. In that respect, the member for Longueuil is quite right to talk about duplication; everyone is looking after his own interest and preventing Canadians and Quebecers from getting a guarantee of total safety.

This bill is an improvement but it could be much better. If we had a more in-depth review and if the transport committee had more power, goods would be shipped much more safely by water and other modes of transport. The member for Longueuil pointed that out when he mentioned the different levels of government involved in transportation.

This means that decisions are harder and harder to make and bureaucracy is even more cumbersome and the fragmentation of transport management means that after a disaster or after a situation is analysed, everything is turned over not to the transport committee which could act quickly, but to independent commissions that are paid millions of dollars and produce reports which are shelved as are the reports of the transport committee. Then an incident happens and another commission is charged with summarizing the old recommendations and making new ones so that it takes two or three years to come up with concrete solutions. This makes transport management more difficult. Transportation has a very big impact on Canadians and is extremely important to Quebec's economic development, especially because of the seaway. We saw that this winter when the Coast Guard made a doubtful decision about ice booms and the seaway was blocked for months. Madam Speaker, I see you are indicating that I have a minute left. I shall comply with your order immediately. I was saying that ships were directed to other ports, thus reducing business in our ports. My 10 minutes are now up.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

The period for questions and comments is now over.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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BQ

Nic Leblanc (Bloc Québécois Caucus Chair)

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Nic Leblanc (Longueuil):

Madam Speaker, as the Bloc Quebecois critic for transport I am pleased to rise today to speak on transport, and more specifically on marine transport.

I know that this bill is designed to improve the transportation of goods by water, to facilitate the berthing of our ships in small harbours, et cetera. I support this bill, but what concerns me most is the fact that once

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again the government paid particular attention to transportation by water.

I am not convinced that the government took the necessary time to analyze the negative impact which the improvements made regarding transportation by water could have on the railroad industry.

As we are well aware, the CN chairman once again came to Ottawa this week. He appeared before the transport committee and he confirmed once again there would be an additional lay off of more than 1,000 employees at the CN.

We, members of the Bloc Quebecois, met the CP president a few months ago and he told us that the big problem for the railroad industry is the fact that shipping by sea is partly subsidized. So is transport by surface, since roads are built by governments, whereas railroad companies must build their railroads themselves. The costs incurred by railway companies are enormous, given the fact that they are in direct competition with the road transportation sector for which the roads are paid and insured by governments. This means that the railway companies are at a total disadvantage and this becomes totally unfair.

This is what I meant to say earlier. There is no consultation between the various transportation sectors in Canada and in Quebec. There is absolutely no consultation. Consequently governments subsidize some forms of transport to the detriment of others, which generates unfair competition and forces governments to pay and pay all the time. Transportation companies complain about this unfairness. Consequently the government decides to subsidize this transport sector, whether it is the rail, the marine or the air industry. This is a vicious circle in the sense that the government ends up paying all the time.

This is an obvious problem of bad management, and this is why I want to take this opportunity today to deal with the transport sector because this lack of consultation is totally unacceptable. I do not understand why people who are supposedly intelligent, educated and used to working in a industrialized country which is said to be number one in the world, cannot grasp this.

I also cannot understand why there are two airports in Montreal which are not operating successfully. I cannot understand why the government does not react. Also I never understood why, when Mirabel was built, the airport was north of the runways, while the population lives south of those runways. This is beyond me. I asked that question on several occasions to the transport committee in past years. As you know, Madam Speaker, this is my ninth year here as a member of Parliament, and I have had several opportunities to ask questions to the transport committee. I did ask why Mirabel airport was built north of the runways, while the population is located south of those runways. I never got much of an answer until about six months ago when experts provided one. I do not know if it is because I now sit with the opposition that I got an answer. I was told that when Mirabel was built it was first to serve the interests of Ottawa and Montreal. Autoroute 50 between Ottawa and Mirabel was supposed to be built, as well as autoroute 13 between Mirabel and Montreal, but the airport was built north of the runways to first serve Ottawa.

That is scandalous. Today highway 13 has still not been completed because it would cost $150 million to go under the runways, with the air terminal building located north of them.

That is completely unacceptable. I cannot understand it. I am an ordinary individual who does not know much. I am not an expert on transportation or economics but some things in life are just plain logical. This situation is beyond me.

I come back to my argument that transport should be managed by the Government of Quebec in the first place. As the old saying goes, you are never as well served as when you serve yourself. The day we are served by our Quebec government we will not put an airport in Mirabel to serve Ottawa instead of Montreal. That is what happened and I have proof. Experts finally admitted to me that Mirabel was built to serve Ottawa first.

I can tell you that Montrealers have had enough of the rivalry between these two airports. While traffic at Pearson Airport is growing, our Montreal airports are barely holding their own. According to the experts this

April 2, 1993

mess with two airports in Montreal costs the Quebec economy about $5 to $6 billion.

This leads me to say again that this lack of co-ordination among the modes of transport costs citizens and taxpayers huge amounts, exorbitantly high amounts for an outdated transportation system.

It is imperative that the federal, Quebec and municipal governments get together and agree on a comprehensive plan so that our marine, air, rail and truck transport can be profitable.

We know that transportation is one of the most important industries in Quebec, but the way it is managed in general is scandalous. I cannot understand how intelligent people can be that stupid.

With transportation everything is interrelated. People and goods have to be moved. Passengers travel by train, bus or car, by rail or by road. Encouraging transportation by road, for example, hurts the railway; encouraging transportation by rail hurts the bus lines.

We recently heard the Minister of Transport announce that he is restoring Via Rail service between Montreal and Quebec City.

That is very nice and the minister can boast that VIA Rail is running again between Quebec City and Montreal; it looks good to say such things. He has just announced another subsidy, but when the minister made that announcement he forgot to say that he was subsidizing everyone who travels on VIA Rail. I do not remember the exact amount, but I think it costs the government about $130 per passenger.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but he can resume his speech when we return to Government Orders.

It being eleven o'clock, the House will now proceed to Statements by Members pursuant to Standing Order 31.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY WATER ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31

PC

John Henry Reimer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Reimer (Kitchener):

Madam Speaker, I would like to commend Chrysler Canada Ltd. for its recent decision to upgrade its Windsor minivan plant at a total cost of some $600 million. This action speaks volumes about the attractiveness of Canada as an outstanding location for auto sector investment.

This is but one of many new capital investments in Canada announced in the past year by the big three. These investments total over $3.6 billion in value, including $1 billion at the new Ford engine plant in Windsor and $1 billion at its Oakville minivan plant, among others.

These investment announcements clearly indicate that we can compete. Canadian workers are among the world's most productive, second only to the United States and fully six and a half times more productive than their Mexican counterparts.

Ontario is close to major markets in the northeastern United States. Inflation here is lower than in most of the industrialized world and the cost of capital is becoming increasingly competitive. Our infrastructure and the quality of our labour force are vastly superior, particularly in comparison to Mexico.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Sub-subtopic:   AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY
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THE PRIME MINISTER

LIB

Peter Andrew Stewart Milliken

Liberal

Mr. Peter Milliken (Kingston and the Islands):

Madam Speaker, Canada's Prime Minister is off to sit on the knee of his former political masters, George Bush and Ronald Reagan, next week in California and Texas. True to form, he will mouth a major foreign policy speech while he is there.

Is it not interesting that our Prime Minister never feels the need to make such a speech in Canada? Could it be because he wants lots of applause for his efforts and realizes that his ideas are repugnant to most of his countrymen, or is it because he will clear the speech with Ron and George first to make sure it is acceptable to their Republican cohorts?

April 2, 1993

Canada needs a made at home foreign policy, not one dictated by American political has-beens whose policies have been firmly rejected by the American people.

Surely Canadians deserve to hear from their Prime Minister here in this House about what our foreign policy should be, not read about it on news wires from south of the border. Is it any wonder that Canadians feel this government has sold them out to American interests at every turn?

The Prime Minister should stay at home, call an election and face the punishment of the people that he has so richly earned.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE PRIME MINISTER
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CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE

April 2, 1993