Mr. Chairman, I welcome this opportunity today to speak on the estimates, not having spoken in this chamber for almost a year. I wish to direct some of my questions to the Minister of Transport. I will wait and see whether he needs any officials.
I welcome this opportunity to talk about the concerns of the constituency of South West Nova, concerns regarding transportation and how they relate. The Department of Transport is well aware of some of the concerns that any member of Parliament from that area would have. In particular, we have CN Marine which operates three ferries out of ports in that area. We are concerned about the direction CN Marine will be taking in this new Parliament along with the Department of Transport in order to provide better service to and from Nova Scotia to Saint John and Maine.
Today I want to talk about a couple of areas, Via Rail and the arrangements that have been made to provide service from Halifax to Yarmouth. I congratulate Via Rail. It is a Crown corporation that was given its powers during the time 1 was in office. I would like to ask about the financing of this one-year program that will come into effect in June.
I would like the minister to direct his attention to the Via Rail set-up in the area between Halifax and Yarmouth, going through the valley, and to tell me the cost that the department or the CTC will have to bear for the new arrangements to see whether the service will be improved and whether people will use it. The fact that there will be a return service daily as well as reduced fares, which I and many groups have advocated, will encourage people to use the service. This should be an energy saver for the province.
The next area of concern is the highway upgrading agreement between the province of Nova Scotia and the federal government which was entered into in early 1978. The purpose of that agreement was to upgrade and reinforce the highway in Nova Scotia. South West Nova was quite fortunate-
Subtopic: BUSINESS OF SUPPLY