Fair Rail Freight Service Act (Bill C-52)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for York South—Weston for his presentation. I see that the official opposition is prepared to support the bill, recognizing that there are so many lost opportunities.

Recently the railway industry in our country picked four pillars as its priorities going forward. One of those is sustainability, particularly with respect to reduced greenhouse gases and the fact that shipping goods by rail is much better for climate action than shipping by transport trailer and truck. I wonder if the hon. member has any thoughts on what opportunities we have missed in this piece of legislation to also recognize the greenhouse gas benefits of shipping goods by rail.

Mike Sullivan: Mr. Speaker, one of the government’s reactions to comments about the pricing portion of the bill was to suggest that shippers have another alternative. Many of them, but not all of them, have trucks as an alternative. Well, trucks consume considerably more fossil fuel and have a larger environmental footprint. As a result, we should be encouraging the use of rail rather than discouraging it through inaction on the part of the government.