Investing in tracks for passenger travel on VIA Rail

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, I could not agree more with my hon. colleague from Guelph that we made a dreadful mistake when we separated out passenger rail, VIA Rail, and gave the tracks in this country to CN and freight.

The current length of trains that are bringing freight across this country is so long that they do not fit on any siding, which is why VIA Rail, that does not control the signals, is sent to the siding and passengers have to wait sometimes for as much as an hour for a freight train to pass.

I do not see anything in Bill C-49 that would fix the problem the member for Guelph just identified. What we need to do is make sure we are investing in VIA Rail and investing in tracks for VIA Rail. I do not see that in this legislation.

Mr. Lloyd Longfield – Member for Guelph

Madam Speaker, there is a third rail line, the Guelph Junction line, that also has some shunting yards that move freight between the two major carriers in Canada.

This legislation would open up the opportunity for international investors to see a more efficient network to invest in and attract the capital that we need to pay for the tracks that have to go in to do the dual tracking between some of the major centres in Canada.

Part of the work of this legislation involves attracting attention and investment through the greater efficiencies that it would provide.