October 13, 1983 (32nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Stanley J. Hovdebo

New Democratic Party

Mr. Hovdebo:

In discussion on Motion No. 35, what we are attempting to do is to ensure that the clause which is being amended, Clause 17(4), cannot be used to assist the railways, the CTC and the Government of Canada in the abandonment of railway branch lines. Clause 17(4) could obviously be used by the railways in the process of abandonment. This particular clause will ensure that Clause 17(4) cannot be used for the abandonment of railways.
Even now, in many parts of Canada, in many parts of the Prairies, movement of grain by truck is being used to assist the abandonment of railways. For instance, in my constituency is the Carleton line, which is a short line just north of Saskatoon going into the Prince Albert district. The Carleton line has been partially abandoned but is still operating to some extent. Last week I received a number of calls concerning the line from farmers who said that they are not getting cars and, therefore, the grain is being trucked from those elevators to Saskatoon or to a main line. Therefore, when we review the abandonment of that line next year, the CNR will say: Look, we did not move the 60,000 tonnes required to keep the line in business and, consequently, we will have to abandon it."
The amendment would disallow the Administrator, the CTC and the CNR the right to use trucking as a method of abandoning the lines. So, Mr. Speaker-

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