Safer Railways Act (Bill S-4)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my Bloc colleague for his comments. I too support this safer railways bill, which is very important for Canada.

I make the point now only to say that I think the House is moving to a place where we may have wanted to be some time ago. Members are prepared to see the bill pass. I just wanted to add my words of support for the bill. I think the House is perhaps unanimous.

I turn to my friend in the Bloc and ask him if he has any additional points.

We do need to ensure that rail safety is a priority. This is a very important bill, even if it is a housekeeping bill. I hope that, once it is passed, we can move on to look at the other issues that have come up in debate about improving access to rail, passenger rail, improving the freight lines and potentially moving Canada into the 21st century of rail travel through high-speed rail. However those are all points that go beyond the legislation before us.

Jean-François Fortin: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands for her very apt comment.

We have indeed reached a point where all parties in this House agree on passing this bill. I believe that it is important to improve safety, as my colleague mentioned. There is no doubt about it. Earlier, I alluded to apple pie. Who can be against apple pie?

We need to move on to the next step. The bill must be passed. But I wish to reiterate that it is important for the government to have a clear policy that will provide the railways, no matter where in Canada they might be located, with funds to maintain costly infrastructure, because the railways are invaluable from the environmental, sustainable development and transportation standpoints, whether we are talking about transporting goods or passengers. What is needed is a clear investment policy for the railway network across Canada.