IN THE HOUSE ~ Question on Grain transport and Vancouver Port

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the history of this file is the government has dropped the ball completely. Grain transport is important. It is important to farmers, it is also important to port communities and it is important to local economies across the country like Vancouver. Now the minister clearly promised $100,000 a day fines and then mysteriously they were reduced to $100,000 a week and even that is only in theory because the government actually has not levied any fines despite the continuing problems.

    Canadians want a government that will stand up for them. Why is it that the Conservatives are so reluctant, so resistant to stand up for grain farmers and port cities across Canada?

    Mr. Jeff Watson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, CPC): Mr. Speaker, nonsense, in fact an enforcement process is under way given CN's failure to meet the minimum grain volume requirements. That company is in fact facing fines and the enforcement process, as I said, is under way. To clarify this, the maximum fines are $100,000 per violation. We use all means available to our government obviously to defend farmers and all shippers to ensure our economy is well served by Canada's rail logistics system.

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