This is no way to run a railroad

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, it is my first time to rise at this stage of Bill C-49, and due to the time allocations applied, I was not able to have a chance to speak to the bill at all.

I do want to say that I am disappointed that so much has been lost in what is the potential for a transportation act. To give an overarching statement before I go to my quick question to the member, it is as though the Government of Canada decided, for efficient transportation on our highways, we should figure out ways to attract capital investment to privatize sections of road, and hope that people from other countries want to invest. To paraphrase, this is no way to run a railroad.

I thank my colleague from Trois-Rivières very much for his efforts to highlight the importance of fatigue. I would like to ask him if he wants to add a few elements, because it really is a priority issue for the safety of our transport system.

Mr. Robert Aubin – Member for Trois-Riveres

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her comments.

We may have wanted Bill C-49 to do more, although I am not sure, as we are already dealing with an omnibus bill. Quite certainly, Bill C-49 could have done better, particularly on the issue of fatigue. Most witnesses were independent. No one would be surprised to learn that the union representatives who came to speak about employee fatigue among their members probably leaned a certain way. Similarly, no one would be surprised to learn that the employers claimed the issue was not really a priority and that it is already being addressed by an all-party committee.

However, neutral witnesses, such as the Transportation Safety Board, came to say that there was a problem with pilot fatigue and that it needed to be addressed. That was not done. Bill C-49 completely misses the mark on the issue of fatigue, even though many joint committees are already working to find solutions.

How can the Minister of Transport not be sensitive to this issue? Unfortunately, I still have no answer.