Mr. Prosper Boulanger (Mercier):
Mr. Speaker, I regret I have only a few minutes left to speak to such an important bill, namely Bill C-221 introduced by my distinguished and hon. colleague for Laprairie who, in the process of drafting this bill, must certainly have carried out very extensive research and studies in order to come up with such a well substantiated and well explained bill. This is what leads me to draw your attention to the explanatory note.
Mr. Speaker, it is said that there is an increasing awareness in Canada of the potential for rapid transit or recreational use of abandoned railway lines or unused railway rights-of-way. As a matter of fact, in Montreal a few weeks ago, Mr. Speaker, we attended a meeting of the mayors of the municipalities of the Montreal area and the president of that organization, Mayor Jean Corbeil of the city of Anjou, was referring to the serious problems of public transportation and in particular railway transportation on the north and south shore into and out of Montreal, and also between Mirabel and Montreal. At that time, I recall the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lalonde) said that we had over $60 million set aside for the Montreal island municipalities to be used for upgrading the public transportation system. So the issue is not then the removal of rails but rather the improvement of the service, of the cars and transportation in general so that the fares will be lower. We had agreed, that is to say the government in the person of the Minister of Justice, to contribute up to an amount of-
Subtopic: ABANDONED RAILWAY LINES CONSERVATION ADVISORY AUTHORITY ACT