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            • MPnews news Could ACR news be coming soon? - Sault Star
              Sault MP Bryan Hayes says Transport Canada officials have forwarded a recommendation to the Minister based on the proposal penned by the local stakeholder's committee that could see passenger rail service continue between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. read more
              Wed 12:11 pm> |
              • MPnews news Girls and young women invited to participate in video contest - SooToday.com
                Today, on behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, highlighted creation of a new Girls Advisory Council to engage girls across Canada on ... read more
                Sat 6:13 am> |
                • MPnews news Joe did a fantastic job - SooToday.com
                  Carol Hughes, NDP MP for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, lauded the efforts of the ACR Passenger Service Stakeholders Working Group in securing a third-party operator, who will operate passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst as well ... read more
                  Mar 14, 2015 5:30 pm> |
                  • MPnews news Hayes talks to chamber - Sault Star
                    The Canadian economy is in better shape now than it was four years ago and the government is on target to balance its budget, said MP Bryan Hayes. Hayes was the guest speaker Wednesday at a Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce breakfast. read more
                    Mar 04, 2015 12:03 pm> |
                    • MPnews news Feds come through with robot funding (updated) - SooToday.com
                      MP Bryan Hayes (Sault Ste. Marie) was joined today by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science and Technology, to announce, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal ... read more
                      Mar 03, 2015 12:16 pm> |
                      • MPnews news Help stop violence against women and girls - SooToday.com
                        OTTAWA - On behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, yesterday invited organizations in Sault Ste. Marie, and across Canada, to propose ... read more
                        Feb 17, 2015 11:14 am> |
                        • MPnews news Doctor-assisted death conversation just starting - SooToday.com
                          ... which is where my background is coming from,” said Bryan Hayes, MP for Sault Ste. Marie. “You're taking a life and it's only God that should be taking lives,” he added. With an election looming before the one-year deadline, the rights of Canadians ...and more » read more
                          Feb 06, 2015 1:22 pm> |
                          • MPnews news Feds seeking more information on ACR plan - Sault Star
                            Transport Canada has begun conversations with the city's ACR stakeholder's working group on its plan that will see passenger rail service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst retained for the long term. CAO Joe Fratesi said a telephone conference was ... read more
                            Feb 06, 2015 11:33 am> |
                            • MPlibblog David McGuinty 1293 post Rail service

                              Mr. Speaker, this debate is the furthest from hypothetical debates we could find.

                              I want commend my colleague, the member for Sydney—Victoria, for bringing forward his motion, which is extremely important. He is a very active advocate for agricultural producers and for agribusiness. He viscerally understands the role and the purpose of Canada's agricultural sector in a larger economic context, a theme I will come back to in a few moments.

                              I want to go back to first principles for listeners, readers or people watching this debate. Let us collectively recall that Canada's railroads were built chiefly with the leadership of government and that they had a unique foundational role to play in helping to kick start our economy and underpin this post-modern economy in which we now live. In fact, rail is indispensable to Canada's economic success. That is woven into the fabric of the specifics that my colleague from Sydney—Victoria wants to see examined in his important motion; what we see with respect to the government and how it interfaces with the transportation sector and its responsibility for transportation.

                              First, governments have an obligation always to get the big things right, the things on which Canadians count. One of the chief responsibilities of a federal government is transportation, which includes transportation policy, regulation, enforcement and so on.

                              We have seen an increase in agricultural production, in natural resource exploitation, the transportation of oil by rail and stability, if not a slight increase, in passenger rail transportation across Canada. The government knows this. In fact, for almost a decade now it has watched this growth. However, as my colleague from Sydney—Victoria pointed out, we have seen the government reacting in knee-jerk fashion. It is almost as if it is jumping from one ice floe crisis to another ice floe crisis, depending on the crisis of the week, month or year. It is so much so that now our rail system is in flux.

                              Our rail system is in crisis. We have ships waiting off the west coast of Canada for our grain, our agricultural products and sometimes for other natural resources. We have seen a massive 1,200% increase in the transportation of oil by rail. The government has known this for almost a decade. We have seen a crisis emerge in passenger rail services in the country. There have been complaints from all over northern Quebec, from Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie and so many other smaller parts of Canada that are witnessing a decline in service, frequency and availability. On all fronts, we have a problem.

                              What has the government's reaction been to this problem in almost a decade? Its first reaction was to appoint five transportation ministers in less than nine years. No minister can take on a portfolio like Transport Canada seriously and commit the time and effort that is required to improve the transportation system by flitting in and out, either heading up, down or out of cabinet. This is what we have seen with a succession of cabinet ministers.

                              One of the things I have noticed in my time as the transportation critic for the Liberal Party of Canada is a proximity relationship between the regulated railways sector and the regulator at Transport Canada. This has deeply concerned me. This relationship, in my view, and I do not say this lightly, between Transport Canada, its minister, its staff, its good officials and the regulated sector of the railway is too close. It is too cosy. It is almost too integrated, and we have seen this as we have studied the safety management systems that apply as much to the transportation of grain as they do to the transportation of oil.

                              The facts are, as I mentioned, there have been five ministers in nine years. There has been an Auditor General's report, which can only be described as scathing. Over a four-year period, the Auditor General ferreted through what was happening at Transport Canada and came back with some incredibly problematic and troubling findings, thing likes in a four-year period, the government had not had Via Rail, with its millions and millions of rail passengers a year, audited by a qualified inspector for its safety management system.

                              In the entire rail sector, only 25% of all the audits that were supposed to have been done, planned by the government, were in fact done. It does not increase our confidence in rail safety, particularly in response to and after the terrible tragedy of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec.

                              As my colleague pointed out on penalty provisions, the minister was buttonholed last week by media. On camera, the minister said that the government would have to see whether it would impose a fine and how much it would be. Agriculture producers and shippers have to know. The government has said that it will be $100,000 a day in fines. Now it has said that it will not be $100,000 a day, but $100,000 a week. It actually is not $100,000 a week either. It is full of discretion. The minister will decide, when she feels like it, or whoever the next minister is, whether the railway company should be fined. I do not know on what grounds or on what basis, because the criteria is not clear.

                              The fines do not go to the shippers. They do not go to those who have been affected by the choices made by the railways or the constraints imposed on the railways. The fines are paid to the government, not to the shippers who have liquidated damages, with crops and yields and grain sitting in storage waiting to get on to ships that are moored off the coast of B.C. It makes no sense, but these are the kinds of changes and actions the government has brought in, again in a very ad hoc way, dealing with a bottlenecked railway system.

                              Prairie provinces are the world's top canola producing region. It is incredible what our agricultural producers have done, the efficiency, the environmental sensitivity, the quality of the grain. We are the second largest exporter of wheat, up 14% to record 81 million metric tonne levels in a short number of years.

                              The Liberal Party of Canada thinks that with the relationship between the regulator and the regulated, the railways companies being regulated, it appears is if the railways are now picking and choosing, based on profit margins, what they will or will not essentially ship. Some volume standards have been brought to bear, but even these do not deal with the crisis that is in play.

                              To recap, our are shippers captive. They have no competitive commercial alternatives, no legal recourse when the system fails. The threatened fines have no real impact. They are no substitutes for liquidated damages for the affected shippers. The government has brought in an order to move certain minimum volumes of grain, which expired in November 2014, and is making it up again as it goes along.

                              We need this motion. We need a comprehensive examination of the rail transportation system to get it right and get it better. We owe it to Canadians, to our future, to our economy and we really owe it to the future success of Canada.

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Sault Ste. Marie

The electoral district of Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) has a population of 89,028 with 69,272 registered voters and 191 polling divisions.

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