MASSE IN THE HOUSE: High Speed Rail Statement


September 20, 2011 

   Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call for action for high speed rail in Canada.

    My former leader and friend Jack Layton assigned me the Quebec City to Windsor high speed rail portfolio to increase the use of passenger rail and improve the service in this corridor.

     Well known to all, Jack expected us to not just criticize or be in opposition, but to build a plan and see it through.

    With that in mind, I have been researching and reaching out and last week launched the need for speed campaign. My first goal was to determine interest in a Quebec City to Chicago route that would link Canada to the United States. I went to Michigan and met with elected members and bureaucrats alike. With $200 million in upgrades from Detroit to Chicago currently happening, Americans from all government levels are interested in a future rail connection to Canada.

    In Canada I met with the private sector, elected officials and others who see the merits of higher speed real. The problem in Canada is that we see study after study but no action.

    I have asked the Minister of Transport to create an inclusive working group of municipalities, provinces and both the public and private sector to develop a long-term business plan, ultimately bringing Canada into the modern rail age.

    I miss Jack. He was a big supporter of high speed rail. It is projects like this that keep his legacy alive.