Safer Railways Act (Bill S-4)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that Canadians from coast to coast actually do want to be able to travel from coast to coast in something that reflects a modern rail system.

I was intrigued that the member from Davenport mentioned the fact that when one travels from Toronto to Ottawa the rail speed is never much more than if one was actually driving. Speed, though, can also be dangerous, and without adequate regulation and the automatic brake systems that we need, speed can cause derailment.

I would like to ask the hon. member whether in his view we need to substantially invest in the modernization of the railbeds so that we can bring in high-speed rail and actually live with the advantages of modern societies around the world that buy Canadian technology from Bombardier to have high-speed trains?

Andrew Cash: Mr. Speaker, members on the government side love to talk about how they are great fiscal managers and brilliant economic planners, but the fact of the matter is that if we look at emerging economies, they are investing in high-speed electric train technology right now.

We have the tracks laid. We need the major infrastructure investments to bring our rail transit up to speed for the 21st century.