IssuesTransportation

Transportation

First Published: Oct 02, 2019
Last Updated: Oct 02, 2019
Monitored by: Hugues Théorêt

Background

In November 2016, the Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced its long-term vision for Canada's transportation system. The plan called Transportation 2030 groups areas of work under five themes: The Traveller; Safer Transportation; Green and Innovative Transportation; Waterways, Coasts and the North; Trade Corridors to Global Markets.

On May 16, 2017, the Government of Canada proposed changes to laws to improve the transportation system. On May 23, 2018, the Transportation Modernization Act received Royal Assent. This put into place measures that will help grow the economy and improve safety and security for Canadians. This legislation is a first legislative step to deliver on early measures that are part of Transportation 2030. These changes affect the transportation system in Air travel, Rail transportation system, Marine transportation system.

Budget 2017 proposed $50 million over 11 years to launch a Trade and Transportation Information System, carried out by a new Canadian Centre on Transportation Data (CCTD). This is a joint Transport Canada and Statistics Canada initiative.

The government also allocated $400 million over 11 years dedicated for transportation infrastructure in the three territories under the National Trade Corridors Fund.

Current Status

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) invested $1.28 billion in Réseau express métropolitain (REM) to expand transit in Montreal. There are 13 projects in active due diligence and more than 100 projects have been brought forward for discussion and review with the CIB.

In January 2019, Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Canada’s new rules for remotely piloted aircraft systems, more commonly known as drones. The new rules, which will come into force on June 1, 2019, apply to all drone pilots flying drones between 250 grams and 25 kilograms that are operated within the drone pilot’s visual-line-of-sight, regardless of whether the drone is flown for fun, work or research.

The Minister also announced the creation of a task force to look into the possibility of outfitting school buses with seatbelts.

Liberal

As described above.

Conservatives

No specific proposals yet.

NDP

New Democrat government will modernize and expand public transit in communities across Canada, and ensure that federal transit funding flows with an emphasis on scaling up low carbon transit projects like zero-emissions buses and electric trains, with the goal of electrifying transit and other municipal fleets by 2030.

A New Democrat government will also support creating high-frequency rail along the Quebec-Windsor corridor.

Green Party

The Green Party want to re-invest in our national rail systems, building more train cars in Canada, increasing train speeds, phasing in high speed rail where feasible, and creating green transportation and energy infrastructure corridors in key regions.

A Green Government would implement a number of transportation related measures including: Develop a national transportation strategy with a goal of reaching zero-carbon public ground transportation everywhere in Canada by 2040, ban the sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2030, and exempt new and used electric and zero-emission vehicles from federal sales tax.

People's Party

No specific proposals yet.

Bloc Quebecois

No specific proposals yet.

October 2, 2019
Roberto Chavez

The Liberal platform unveiled on September 29th included $720 million to support the electrification of transit and transportation over five years via five initiatives:

  • Charging stations: Install up to 5,000 charging stations along the Trans Canada Highway and major road networks, and in Canada’s urban and rural areas.
  • Used zero-emissions vehicles rebate: Expand the existing rebate on zero emission vehicles to purchases of used zero-emission vehicles, up to 10% or $2,000.
  • Investments in electric public transit: Require that new federal investments in public transit are used to support only zero-emission public transit starting in 2023
  • School Bus Fund: Working in partnership with the provinces and territories, move forward with a new fund to help more school boards and municipalities purchase 5,000 zero-emissions school and transit buses over the next five years.
  • Support conversion of private fleets: To help business transition to zero-emission vehicles, explore measures to support the conversion of business fleets, such as those used by taxi and courier companies, and industrial vehicles, like mining trucks.

Additionally, Liberals committed an additional $3 billion per year in permanent public transit funding, to provide stable, predictable funding for cities’ transit needs.

October 2, 2019
Roberto Chavez

On September 28th, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh promised $30 million in funding to reduce BC Ferries fares, says he wants to make it cheaper for families relying on the service.

September 24, 2019
Roberto Chavez

The Green Party has promised to develop a national transportation strategy and to use existing Canada Post infrastructure to enhance rural services.  Speaking to reporters and supporters in Sackville, N.B., party leader Elizabeth May said that rural travel has become more difficult with reduced Via Rail services and cancelled bus routes in B.C., Saskatchewan and the Maritimes. A Green government, May said, will implement new legislation dubbed the Via Rail Act, which will lead to Ottawa investing $600 million in 2020-21 to develop regional rail networks, and to aim for zero-carbon public transportation by 2040.

“People living in rural and remote communities have virtually no access to public transportation,” May said. “This is unacceptable.”

May said many Canadians rely on Via Rail service as inter-city bus routes dry up, noting the cancellation of Greyhound service across western Canada. She said that train service needs be on time and daily, adding that in some cities, trains only leave every couple of days.  

To fix this, May said a Green government would build more tracks so Via Rail trains are not held up by freight trains and would travel on schedule. The party plans to use the railways primarily, with spokes of light rail and electric bus connections to achieve a national transportation strategy.

The Liberal government in June pledged $71.1 million to help push forward Via Rail’s proposal for a high-frequency rail corridor stretching from Toronto to Quebec City. The proposed $4-billion high-frequency rail project would see Via Rail construct its own dedicated rail line along the corridor, allowing for faster and more frequent service. Trains in the region currently run on tracks shared with cargo vehicles.

A Green government would also implement a host of services for rural communities using existing Canada Post infrastructure, said May, adding that Canada Post can be made financially stable by diversifying its services. Postal door-to-door services will be reinstated, postal carries will check on people with mobility issues, and Canada Post will establish banking services in remote regions, she said.

The party also plans to use Canada Post offices for public high-speed internet access and community meetings. The Canada Post fleet will be upgraded to electric vehicles under a Green government, according to May.

“It is doable, it’s within our budget,” she said, adding that the budget for the Green platform will be released Wednesday and include cost estimates from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

September 20, 2019
Roberto Chavez

On Monday September 16th, Elizabeth May unveiled the Green Party Election Platform 2019. A Green Government would implement a number of transportation related measures including: Develop a national transportation strategy with a goal of reaching zero-carbon public ground transportation everywhere in Canada by 2040, ban the sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2030, and exempt new and used electric and zero-emission vehicles from federal sales tax.

September 13, 2019
Roberto Chavez

Scheer promises public transit tax credit as part of climate change plan.  The Liberal government cut the tax credit in the 2017 budget, saying it was ineffective and they would rather spend the money on building transit.  The Conservatives say their measure, which they are calling the Green Public Transit Tax Credit, would give people a 15-per-cent credit at tax time.  Costing would be an estimated $229 million a year.

September 3, 2019
Hugues Théorêt

On September 3rd, Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced an investment of $107 million to develop freight transportation at Mirabel Airport. According to Minister Garneau, this sum, $50 million from the federal government and 57 million from Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), will initially be used to build warehouses with a total surface area of 20,000 square metres at the Mirabel Airport terminal, which has not received any passengers since 2004, but has remained in service for freight transport.

July 30, 2019
Hugues Théorêt

The legal battle continues between the federal government and the airlines over its new Passenger Rights Act, claiming that it has the power to establish rules on how carriers treat late customers, cancelled flights or lost baggage. On July 29, the Attorney General of Canada stated that the rules that apply to all air carriers to, from and within Canada are within the regulatory authority of the government and were drafted after extensive consultations. The new rules set a minimum compensation for delayed or injured passengers and lost baggage, in addition to limiting the time airlines can keep passengers waiting on the tarmac to three hours.

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