THE STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS
OTTAWA, Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, to which was referred Bill C-49, an Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts, met this day at 6:45 p.m. to continue its consideration of this bill.
Senator Patricia Bovey (Deputy Chair) in the chair.
The Deputy Chair: Good evening, dear colleagues. I am Senator Bovey, deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications. This evening, the committee is continuing its study of Bill C-49, an Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.
We have two panels today. First, for this panel, I would like to welcome Mr. Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada; and Mr. Mark Schaan, Director General, Marketplace Framework Policy Branch, Strategic Policy Sector, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
On their way, stuck in the snow and hoping to be here in about 30 minutes, are representatives of the Competition Bureau of Canada, Ms. Melissa Fisher, Associate Deputy Commissioner, Mergers and Monopolistic Practices Branch, Competition Bureau of Canada; and Mr. Mike Hollingworth, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Mergers and Monopolistic Practices Branch.
I thank you for being here. Before I ask for the presentations, I think it’s only fair and right to have our colleagues introduce themselves around the table.
Senator MacDonald: Michael MacDonald, Nova Scotia.
Senator Boisvenu: Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu from Quebec.
Senator Plett: Donald Plett, Manitoba.
Senator Galvez: Rosa Galvez from Quebec.
Senator Griffin: Diane Griffin, Prince Edward Island.
Senator Dawson: Dennis Dawson from Quebec.
Senator Cormier: René Cormier from New Brunswick.
Senator Gagné: Raymonde Gagné from Manitoba.
Senator Mitchell: Grant Mitchell, Alberta.
Senator Mercer: Terry Mercer, Nova Scotia.
The Deputy Chair: Thank you very much. I was going to ask the Privacy Commissioner, Mr. Daniel Therrien, to begin his presentation. After that, if she’s not yet here, I will ask Mr. Mark Schaan — and he has agreed — to give the remarks of Ms. Fisher.
Afterwards, for each of you traditionally we will have questions from my colleagues. I will ask you to begin.
Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada: Good evening. Thank you, Madam Chair, ladies and gentlemen and members of the committee. I thank you for having invited me to appear before you today to offer my views on Bill C-49.
I will be speaking specifically to the privacy considerations related to the proposed requirements mandating the installation of locomotive voice and video recorders in trains. The bill not only mandates the installation of LVVRs, but it also sets out specific uses for which companies may use the data that are collected. In my opinion, the collection and use of LVVR data for railway safety purposes are reasonable, clearly so when the data is intended for investigating and determining the cause of a railway accident or safety incident.
They are also reasonable when the data is to be used proactively to identify safety concerns, provided appropriate controls are in place to prevent use for inconsistent purposes. We will watch closely as regulations are made to prescribe how analysis of recordings on a random basis is to occur.
The bill includes provisions that seek to ensure an appropriate balance between safety and privacy. For instance, paragraph 17.91(1)(a) sets out with some clarity the safety purposes for which information may be analyzed proactively. The bill also confirms that on-board recordings remain privileged and therefore cannot be used in the context of disciplinary proceedings. Those are two important safeguards.
That said, I have two concerns to raise with you.
First, there is a clause in the bill that creates exceptions or a carve-out from the general privacy legislation in Canada, being PIPEDA. In what is almost without precedent, certainly exceptionally, Bill C-49 would create a carve-out from several obligations found in Canada’s general federal private-sector privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA.
I’m referring here to proposed new subsection 17.91(4) of the Railway Safety Act, which, if enacted, would provide that companies would no longer have to comply with PIPEDA’s obligations under section 7 of that act, or in relation to the collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal information.
It appears that the drafters wanted to create a complete code for the obligations in question in the Railway Safety Act. My concern lies less with the obligations imposed in that act — namely, the Railway Safety Act — than with difficulties in the interpretation to be given to the interplay between that act and PIPEDA, particularly the lack of clarity on the continued role of my office in investigating alleged contraventions, or the application of access rights under both federal privacy laws.
To address this, would I recommend the following amendments to the bill:
First, Bill C-49’s exception to PIPEDA should not include the retention principle. That principle simply provides that information should not be retained longer than necessary. It is relevant in context. The regulation-making authority in paragraph 17.95(1)(d) of the Railway Safety Act could be used to add details to that general principle, but it is not a valid substitute for that principle.
Second, the bill should confirm the jurisdiction of my office to investigate complaints relating to alleged violations of PIPEDA principles, including whether the exceptions found in the Railway Safety Act were properly applied.
Third, concerning the privilege surrounding LVVRs, or recorders, the bill should also amend section 28 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act to confirm the right of individuals to access their own personal information and the OPC’s authority to access and use it if such persons submit a complaint to our office under either the Privacy Act or PIPEDA.
Fourth, I would recommend that, in the future, exceptions to PIPEDA principles be defined in PIPEDA or at least be referred to therein. Otherwise, if the drafting method in the bill before you became the norm, creating a carve-out without explicit reference in PIPEDA, transparency would be adversely affected in that we would need to refer to statutes other than PIPEDA to determine whether PIPEDA would apply, and if so, to what extent.
My second concern relates to the authority to make regulations, that authority being in paragraph 17.95(1)(d) of the Railway Safety Act, and whether it could result in regulations broadening the purposes for which LVVR recordings could be used.
In my view, the language of the regulation-making authority would authorize regulations that would extend the purposes for which the recordings could be used. The principle is elsewhere. It’s in the provision that I quoted. The regulation-making authority could add to the safety purposes for which the recordings could be used.
I would therefore recommend that this section, the regulation-making authority, be amended to align more closely to what I understand is the government’s stated intent and make it clear that regulations would add protection measures but would not expand the list of permissible purposes for these activities.
In conclusion, government officials affirm that they are committed to respecting the privacy rights of employees while achieving the important safety objectives of LVVR systems. The bill, in my view, is largely consistent that intent, but in two respects — the carve-out and the regulation-making authority — it appears to allow deviations. The amendments I am suggesting would provide greater certainty that privacy principles will be upheld.
Thank you. I look forward to your questions.
The Deputy Chair: Thank you very much.
Now we’ll move on to Mr. Schaan, who will present the remarks on behalf of Ms. Fisher.
Mark Schaan, Director General, Marketplace Framework Policy Branch, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada: I will begin by noting this is mildly extraordinary in that I’m responsible for competition policy in Canada, the independent enforcement agency being the bureau. My colleagues are not here, but I am happy, in sharing our joint pursuit of competition matters, to present on their behalf.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I am not Melissa Fisher; I am Mark Schaan, Director General of Marketplace Framework Policy Branch at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, where, among other responsibilities, I am responsible for competition policy. I hope to soon be joined by my colleagues from the Mergers and Monopolistic Practices Branch at the bureau.
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency headed by the Commissioner of Competition, which ensures that Canadian consumers and businesses prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. The bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act and three of Canada’s labelling statutes.
I’ll speak to the bureau’s role in reviewing arrangements between air carriers and how that role will change if Bill C-49 is passed. Specifically, I will speak to this issue from the bureau’s role as an enforcement agency, as the bureau does not act in a policy-making role. That would fall to my job at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
The bureau has considerable experience reviewing a variety of arrangements, including mergers and joint ventures, in the air transport sector. The bureau typically examines these types of arrangements in the context of either the merger or the competitor collaboration provisions of the act, depending on how the arrangement is structured.
These arrangements can have positive effects, increasing efficiency and competitiveness, but they can also raise competition concerns. If the commissioner determines that an arrangement is likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition, he may, subject to an exception for joint ventures that are notifiable mergers under the act, challenge it before the tribunal or seek a consensual resolution with the parties to resolve those concerns.
In reviewing mergers or agreements between competitors, the bureau undertakes an exhaustive, fact-intensive and evidence-based review focusing on routes where there is overlap or potential overlap in service by the parties. The bureau typically considers whether the joint venture partners provide competing air passenger services on specific origin-destination city pairs. The bureau assesses whether consumers view, for example, non-stop or one-stop service as substitutes for one another.
The bureau also considers whether there are competitors serving overlapping routes, whether there are barriers to entry and whether existing or potential competitors may limit the parties’ ability to raise prices. A joint venture that reduces the number of competitors or potential competitors on an already concentrated route will raise concerns.
Bill C-49 establishes a new process for the review and authorization of arrangements involving two or more transportation undertakings providing air services. This process will cover all types of arrangements among air carriers other than arrangements that would be considered notifiable mergers under the act.
Notifiable mergers are merger transactions that meet specific financial thresholds and that cannot be completed until the commissioner has had an opportunity to review. These have been subject to potential public interest review by the Minister of Transport since the year 2000.
The new process will enable air carriers to voluntarily seek authorization of a proposed arrangement from the Minister of Transport. The commissioner will receive a copy of any notice of an arrangement that is provided to the minister, along with any information required by the guidelines.
If the minister determines that the proposed arrangement raises significant considerations with respect to the public interest, then the commissioner is required, within 120 days of receiving the initial notice, to report to the minister and the parties on any concerns regarding a potential prevention or lessening of competition. While the bureau and the minister will work together to share information, the bureau’s review of arrangements will remain separate and independent from the public interest review conducted by the minister.
The bureau will continue to carry out its usual competitive analysis, but if the arrangement raises competition concerns, the commissioner will not have the option of settling those concerns with the parties directly through the negotiation of remedies or through a remedial order from the tribunal. The final decision in these matters will rest with the Minister of Transport, and the minister will consult with the commissioner on any remedial measures.
In cases where parties do not seek an authorization from the minister, or where the minister does not trigger a public interest review, the bureau will assess any arrangements under the act, without any change from the current process.
The bureau is committed to working with Transport Canada to develop guidelines as required by the bill, including taking steps to ensure that the guidelines require parties to provide the information required to undertake an informed competition analysis.
In the interests of time, I will end my comments here. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.
The Deputy Chair: I want to thank you both for your presentations. We’ll move now to questions.
Senator Dawson: Thank you, Madam Deputy Chair.
I remarked that your colleague — and I know it’s not your text — was making recommendations on the changes, and I’ll be asking him about those in a few minutes. Talk about the elephant in the room: a lot of this is aimed at looking at the status of Air Canada and its relationship.
When you talk about voluntarily seeking co-operation from the minister, in the past it wasn’t voluntary. They had to make that request through the Competition Bureau.
Would you not recommend that we find some way of narrowing their possibility of having to request the bureau’s proactive role in that situation?
We are going to run out of time as our chair has a lot of questions to ask, I am sure.
Mr. Therrien, we have been talking about you for three days. Madam Senator Bovey, Senator Boivenu and I have been talking about smart vehicles, and I hope you will do proactive work and examine not only past privacy-related issues, but also the changes made following the collection of data by smart vehicles. I know that you are proposing amendments, and we will have the opportunity of putting the question to department representatives and to the people who will be appearing before us.
Did you cooperate with the Department of Transport in the development of Bill C-49, as regards the locomotive voice and video recorders (LVVR)? Were there prior consultations?
As for the analysis of visual and audio recordings of employees in their work environment, is that done in other fields? Do you have recommendations regarding treating railways in the same way as other organisations?
Mr. Therrien: First, I must say that I read the committee’s report on connected vehicles with interest, and I thank you for your recommendations.
As for consultations on Bill C-49 carried out by the Department of Transport, and what was said in the past, I can say that safety issues can justify the collection and sharing of information about the recordings discussed in Bill C-49.
In the past, we have had to provide opinions in some investigations. For instance, we recognized that where safety was concerned, collecting information was justified. However, this needs to be done with the express consent of the employees. They should be advised of the fact that their words or actions may be recorded for safety purposes. In these investigations, we also recognized that in such circumstances, employees’ actions could be recorded.
However, Bill C-49 sets aside the principle of consent. That is not the issue as such, but I find it hard to grasp that recordings will not be made because an employee opposed them. Our issue is not with the fact that consent has been set aside, but with the way, practically speaking, that the bill is worded. Not only do we believe that the principle of consent has been set aside, but also that several other principles that apply under the general act that protects privacy have also been set aside. That is the issue and some recommendations proceed from that concern. We noticed this approach when we studied the bill, and we did not consult the Department of Transport as to the wording of the bill. Had there been consultations, we would have said that we agreed with the principle, but that the provisions could perhaps be worded differently.
Mr. Schaan: Thank you for the questions.
I want to be clear about exactly what works under the current regime and what will change.
Under the current regime, mergers that are above a certain financial threshold are obligated to be notified to the Competition Bureau. That will remain the case after Bill C-49 comes to pass.
Under the existing rules of the Competition Act and the Canadian Transportation Act, there is already a public interest review by the Minister of Transport for notifiable mergers. The problem that we’re attempting to solve in Bill C-49 is that we currently subject commercial collaborations — joint ventures — which are increasingly common in the international airspace and for which there are carve-outs and public interest considerations in our major competitor economies, including the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, only to section 90.1 of the act, which is non-notifiable, and the process by which the commissioner would begin an investigation of such can occur at any time.
So essentially, parties can enter into a joint venture, and then at some point down the road, it is possible that the Commissioner of Competition may decide that there is a significant lessening of competition or a concern that there is one and begin an investigation which would then potentially force the parties to unravel the joint venture.
What Bill C-49 tries to do is provide an advance opportunity for firms to be able to notify of a joint venture collaboration that they believe has significant public interest benefits, subject to a full and complete independent assessment of competition by the bureau and a public interest review by the Minister of Transport. The ultimate opportunity for them would be to potentially be able to proceed with advance notice that they will be cleared by the bureau, as such, because of public interest benefits that they will create.
So essentially, to the point of someone who chooses not to notify, this is a voluntary regime. A proponent who chooses not to notify is subject to section 90.1, which means the bureau can come for them at any time to look at the potential anti-competitive effects of the transaction.
What we’re trying to do is essentially mirror the process under the mergers provision for this new and increasingly common form of collaboration while still allowing for a complete and total competition analysis, but recognizing public interest considerations at the same time.
Senator Dawson: I have a supplementary, but I’ll go on the second round because I know a lot of people have questions.
Senator Mercer: Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
Mr. Therrien, I’m somewhat surprised that you, as the Privacy Commissioner, would accept any exceptions to PIPEDA. As we go back to the history of its development, the commissioners were usually pretty firm and there were no exceptions. I was a little surprised that you would condone that.
I want to go to some specific recommendations in Bill C-49, such as the use of LVVRs in railway engineers’ situations.
The use of the data is an issue of privacy. Men and women work in those situations for long hours. Under this regime, we would have video and voice recordings of the goings-on, but there’s no protection. Even if the railways say they’re not going to do it, there is no protection of the use of that data for disciplinary purposes as opposed to just for safety purposes in the event of an incident.
Do you have an opinion on that?
Mr. Therrien: First of all, I obviously recognize that being recorded for long periods of time is invasive and should only occur with very good reasons. We’re clearly dealing with an activity that affects the privacy of employees. There is no question about that. But, in PIPEDA, there is a long list of exceptions to disclosure, for instance; it is about 20 exceptions long. Sometimes, the public interest will outweigh privacy considerations, and I think the safety of the public is among those reasons, provided that the information is used only for that purpose of railroad safety. I would be concerned if it was used for disciplinary reasons, for instance, but I think there are safeguards in the existing legislation, namely, the concept of the privileged nature of the onboard recordings, which is set out in section 28 of an act with a long title, which provides jurisdiction to an accident investigative board. So the onboard recordings are privileged, meaning, according to section 28 of that act, that they cannot be disclosed to anyone and, particularly, that they cannot be required for disciplinary reasons. That’s a good safeguard.
But the bill also exempts other PIPEDA principles, including retention, for instance, and I don’t see any reason why the retention principle of PIPEDA should not apply because all that principle does is require companies to keep information only as long as is necessary. So, if the information is necessary to investigate an incident, you keep it for that period. Once that purpose has been served, you should, under PIPEDA, discard the information. I see no reason to set aside that principle, and one of the provisions of Bill C-49 does that.
Senator Mercer: I’m surprised that we’re not talking about maintaining some of it for the historic value so that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes.
I want to describe a particular incident. In today’s world, our trains from the Canadian railways cross the American border quite frequently. Once they’re inside the American border a certain distance, they have to change crews to an American crew. Then we have an American crew on a Canadian train in the United States. We have LVVRs recording what’s going on in the cabin. Who owns the data then? What rules apply? What privacy rules apply, and what sharing of the data applies? Because we’re now in a different place, some would say a whole different world sometimes, when we cross that border. Where do you stand there?
Mr. Therrien: The bill before you, of course, deals with the collection of information in Canada, but it sets up a device that presumably could work on the U.S. side. Once on the U.S. side, U.S. law applies, and the U.S. can regulate the activity in question. So there may be a risk that data collected through this device when the train is in operation in Canada, once it crosses into the United States, would be subject to requests or the laws of the United States. There is that risk. But the bill before you deals, of course, with the regulation of these activities in Canada.
Senator Mercer: It may be a risk. It seems to me to be something that we should be concerned about, that we would want to remove risks that expose Canadian workers to American law or vice versa.
Mr. Therrien: We should certainly be concerned with that issue, which is perhaps an issue of discussions and negotiations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States. But the bill before you, again, is territorially limited.
Senator Mercer: Finally, chair, I’ve made this point before that we’re in the middle of NAFTA renegotiations, but we then give away some access to some things on our side of the border with no reciprocity. I’ll pass to the second round, chair.
Senator Gagné: My question is addressed to Mr. Therrien. In your statement you mentioned an amendment that may confirm your power to investigate in cases where there has been a violation of privacy. What other role could your office play in the enforcement of Bill C-49?
In your letter to the House of Commons committee you indicated that you expected recordings, and the use of those recordings, to be:
[…] continually reviewed to ensure that the use of the information collected remains valid and reasonable.
Companies should among other things assess whether the recording remains necessary or useful, whether the invasion of privacy is proportional to the benefit derived, and whether there are other less invasive means to reach the same objective.
Are we to expect the companies to monitor the powers the government is about to give them? Would your office do this type of follow-up, would be called upon to investigate following a complaint?
Mr. Therrien: We have several roles. One of them is to investigate following a complaint. That role is not proactive but reactive. The type of examination or analysis you refer to and which we discuss in our letter aims to verify the effectiveness of the measure in question, i.e. the recordings. We could play that role at two points at least: first, in the development of regulations. Regulations will have to prescribe, among other things, how the random review of recordings to identify safety problems will be done. We could play a role in drafting those regulations, and in the way that random review is done, if we are consulted on the wording of the regulations.
There is also risk and privacy-related issue assessment. These are the operational measures that go beyond regulations and are put in place by government or by companies. We could, if consulted, provide our opinion on these matters. All of our roles come into play in response to requests that are addressed to us, either a complaint by an individual who thinks his privacy has been breached, or requests from public or private entities that would like our input on the development of a regulation, or putting a program in place.
Senator Gagné: Should the Department of Transport be asked to analyze the added value provided by these recordings?
Mr. Therrien: I think so.
Senator Mitchell: Thanks to both of you for being here.
Mr. Therrien, in the letter that you wrote on September 12, 2017, to the standing committee on the house side, you indicated that to assess this bill and its effectiveness a number of key questions would have to be answered. One of them, which is core — and I think you’ve basically answered it here, but I’d like to reaffirm it — is this: Is audio-video recording likely to be effective in meeting that specific need?
The Transportation Safety Board's chief executive officer, Ms. Fox, was very clear about that yesterday, very adamant. You’re not disputing the fact that this bill will have an impact on enhancing safety in rail transportation?
Mr. Therrien: I’m not an expert in this area, so I will take the point of view of the expert.
Senator Mitchell: That’s excellent. Thank you very much.
I’m interested in your comments about subsection 17.95(1) in the bill, which allows the making of regulations relating to the collection, preservation, which would be retention, use and communication of information from the recordings.
You say, however, despite the fact that it specifies encryption and so on, the language is kind of loose, and the effect or the application of the law could be broadened.
I wonder if you would consider my disagreement with that position because, first, this bill is very clear in the limits to how this information can be used. And second, in addition to overriding this bill, you referred to section 28(7) of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, which says very clearly that privileged information, like this information will be, cannot be used for any disciplinary or criminal proceedings against employees, period. Then there is one exception, and that’s unless the behaviour that is seen is egregious, and that would ony be seen at random or after the fact of an accident.
I don’t see how it is that the wording of this 17.95(1)(d) is really in any way an indicator that it will be abused, but, in fact, it does specify quite clearly how regulations will have to be implemented in order to strengthen, sustain, be consistent with what I believe to be the rigorous safeguards here of privacy in the pursuit of a balance with public safety and the rights of people to public safety.
Mr. Therrien: I’ll start with what I’m comfortable with, which is section 17.91(1), which is the rule that sets out the purposes for which the recordings can be used normally. But then when you go to the authority to make regulations, being 17.95, including (1)(d), the Governor-in-Council would be able to make regulations respecting the information that companies record, including its collection, its preservation, its use and its communication.
These are broad words. So the principle is good. Uses are in the other provision. But with the regulation-making authority, when I read the words “regulations respecting the information that is recorded, including its collection, use and communication,” these words seem to give broad regulation-making authority to the Governor-in-Council to regulate anything having to do with these activities, including adding purposes.
I hear the government saying adding protection measures. Excellent, but the words are not so limited.
Senator Mitchell: But they certainly specify categories of regulations, and regulations will be public, and we will see whether these regulations will be written in a way that would be consistent with what your fear is. But there’s nothing in this act that specifies that they will be. In fact, it specifies categories where regulations need to be written, like preservation, i.e., retention, and how long it will be retained.
Are you aware of the testimony of Ms. Fox yesterday where she said they’re very focused on retention, and they need to see what will be required of that information and how they will define retention? Do you have any reason to believe that they would abuse that particular provision? Are you just saying in a hypothetical sense that it would be possible?
Mr. Therrien: I’m not talking about abuse, but I’m not talking about hypothetical situations, either.
What I’m saying in terms of the relationship between the Railway Safety Act and PIPEDA is that PIPEDA is the general legislation governing the private sector with respect to personal information, and in that act there are a number of exceptions to certain principles in that act, which helps transparency for someone who wants to know the rules.
This bill would add a third exception outside of PIPEDA to the rules of PIPEDA. So there are not many exceptions. This would be the third, and it is by far the broadest exception when you compare it to the two existing exceptions.
I’m saying that as a matter of constructing statutes and the relationship between a law with a specific subject matter and the general law of the land governing privacy, this is far from ideal. I’m not saying that the government will abuse it. I think there is the possibility of making regulations that would extend uses. I’m saying this is exceptional, and I don’t see why that particular method of drafting the legislation was done that way.
The Deputy Chair: I’m sorry, we will have to move on.
I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Melissa Fisher and Mike Hollingworth. I’m sorry you got caught up in the snow. I would like to congratulate Mr. Schaan for presenting your brief. But we’re here to ask questions of you, so we’ll carry on.
We’re mindful of the time. We have less than 20 minutes remaining, so if we can keep our questions brief and to the point and answers to the point it would help our deliberations.
Senator Boisvenu: I welcome our witnesses. I have a few questions. Mr. Therrien, a locomotive or train is considered to be a public place, correct?
Mr. Therrien: Yes.
Senator Boisvenu: And so, taking photos or making recordings is normally accepted in public places. These are not activities that violate privacy, correct?
Mr. Therrien: No. In principle, in various places, people expect not to be filmed.
Senator Boisvenu: Even for safety purposes?
Mr. Therrien: This type of recording has an impact on people’s privacy. Can that be justified for safety purposes? My answer is yes, to the extent that the information is used for safety purposes.
Senator Boisvenu: In your brief, you mentioned that information should not be kept too long. You don’t specify a time period. The Quebec act prescribes a specific time period regarding the retention of video recordings. After seven days, the public entity or the city must destroy the images if there are no criminal acts or things of that nature. Your brief does not specify the number of days or the applicable time period.
Mr. Therrien: No. Federal law prescribes that the information only be kept during the period when it is necessary. Consequently there is a lot of leeway. Circumstances will dictate the exact length of the period. We would need to speak to experts to determine a reasonable period for the retention of information for investigative purposes. This is the law’s position, by and large. The standard is expressed in general terms and may be applied differently according to the context.
Senator Boisvenu: To avoid that problem, would it not be a good idea to specify a time period? For example, after seven days, the information would be destroyed.
Mr. Therrien: That would be a good topic for the regulations that may be made in connection with Bill C-49. Ideally, the standard would be that of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and we could add to that by including a time period in the regulations made under Bill C-49.
Senator Boisvenu: My other question is addressed to Ms. Fisher and Mr. Hollingworth. We know that your field of expertise is competition. Senators are like flocks of birds. We travel a lot. During my last travels, I saw the coexistence of large enterprises such as Air Canada and Lufthansa. You arrive in Germany, get on a flight, and everything is integrated. Sometimes, you get the impression that Air Canada has merged with Lufthansa. Doesn’t this type of merger, in quotes, as it is not really a merger, jeopardize small enterprises such as Air Transat, among others, who use the same routes but will never have the same volume of business Air Canada and Lufthansa have thanks to their merger? Is there not a risk of unfair competition that could jeopardize Canadian businesses, smaller ones that offer service on the same routes, but do not benefit from this kind of comprehensive integration?
Melissa Fisher, Associate Deputy Commissioner, Mergers and Monopolistic Practices Branch, Competition Bureau of Canada: Airlines have interline agreements that enable them to connect with one another and offer passengers seamless travel, and it is important.
When we look at entry in the airline sector, we look at it in an origin-destination city pair. We actually look at competition between two specific points — so Toronto to Washington, or Toronto to Munich, perhaps, in your example — and we look at entry on that route and the barriers to entry and certainly access to what are called hubs or access to gates, takeoff, landing slots, that kind of thing, which is certainly a barrier to entry for smaller carriers.
Senator Boisvenu: Even if you received a complaint from WestJet or Air Transat as to the unfair competition practised by these joint ventures that are independent entities, what I understand from the bill is that your organization would no longer make the final decision. Would that decision be made by the minister’s office?
Ms. Fisher: Yes. Under the proposed legislation, which applies to arrangements or agreements, if parties enter that voluntary process, the Minister of Transport invokes a public interest review and competition concerns arise, yes, the commissioner could no longer go to the Competition Tribunal and seek a remedy or negotiate remedies directly with the parties. The minister, in consultation with the commissioner, to the extent there are competition concerns, would determine what those remedies would be.
In the context of a merger, this gets a bit technical. A merger that is a notifiable transaction under the Competition Act — it could be an arrangement like this, but it has to meet certain financial thresholds — there’s an existing regime in the Competition Act that was put in in 2000, following the Air Canada-Canadian merger, which would go through a public interest review with the Minister of Transport, and the Governor-in-Council would make the ultimate decision in that scenario.
Senator Boisvenu: By politicizing the arbitration process, are we not removing some independence when an administrative decision is made?
Ms. Fisher: In terms of the competition aspect, the commissioner will continue to conduct his review independently, as we have to under the act. So we’ll continue to do our assessment as we have in the past — consulting with resources, interviewing witnesses, collecting information — and continue to conduct our substantive analysis like we always have. In terms of the competition aspect of that decision, it will be made independently by the commissioner, and he will publish his report with his findings in it.
Senator Galvez: I’m worried about this. I think when we come from Quebec, or for people from the West, this story about the small companies versus the big companies and these non-merger mergers are worrying. The fact that the minister is the one having the final decision, and not you, how do you feel about it? That is one small question. Do you feel that your powers are taken away?
Ms. Fisher: As a representative of the bureau, I can only speak to our legislation and how we enforce it. In terms of the competition policy aspects of the bill, I’ll defer to Mr. Schaan on those.
Mr. Schaan: I think what we’re satisfied with in this particular bill is that competition considerations will be given full and primary consideration, in addition to public interest considerations, and it mirrors the process that we have under the existing mergers regime, with some changes to timelines.
Quickly, on your concept of small carriers and the concerns about non-merger mergers, there is a degree of collaboration that kind of moves on a spectrum in the air sector, from co-chair through to joint venture, all the way through to merger. Right now we have a merger provision that has a public interest consideration, and anything below that is essentially subject to section 90.1 in the commercial collaboration section of the act, which means it’s only competition considerations and no public interest considerations.
One of the goals of Bill C-49 is to allow for the possibility that a transaction could actually have public interest considerations that outweigh any potential lessening of competition, which could mean convenience for travellers, enhanced security, greater road optionality, and the possibility that it may be easier for some travellers to be able to get to their destination, or different destinations, than they were previously able to, except in the light of a commercial collaboration.
Senator Galvez: We have trains everywhere in the world. What do they do in Europe? Do they have cameras on the drivers, in the cockpits and in the cabins? What do they do with the video they have?
Mr. Therrien: I do not know the situation in Europe. You may want to ask the department about this.
Senator Galvez: You don’t compare with what people in other jurisdictions do?
Mr. Therrien: We react to the bill that is presented and is before you. Again, we think that the safety considerations are important. Our recommendations have to do with ensuring that the safety considerations for making the recordings are not lost through excessive setting aside of privacy principles, but we accept the general principle that safety is a good reason to make these recordings and to use them for safety reasons.
Senator MacDonald: My question is for the Privacy Commissioner. Sir, you mentioned that this exception would be the third exception to PIPEDA, and it’s a broad one. I wonder if you could tell us what the other two are. And just how many exceptions do we have to PIPEDA before it doesn’t mean anything anymore?
Mr. Therrien: Thank you. When I say there are three exceptions of the kind, these are exceptions found in statutes other than PIPEDA itself. PIPEDA itself has more exceptions. There are 20-odd exceptions to principles, but in PIPEDA itself, which means that when you want to know when consent is required for a commercial activity, you read PIPEDA and you know, because there is the rule — consent is required — and there are 20-odd exceptions in PIPEDA.
Here you have exceptions outside of PIPEDA. There’s no reference to this in PIPEDA, for one. One of the risks it creates to do this outside of PIPEDA is that we think we would still have jurisdiction to investigate; however, this method of drafting the exception creates, I think, a risk that a corporation could say, “PIPEDA does not apply with respect to certain principles. That’s what Bill C-49 says. Therefore, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner does not have jurisdiction to determine whether the exceptions were properly applied.” I think that’s not correct. There’s a reading of the act whereby we would maintain jurisdiction, but this way of drafting creates that risk.
I’ll get to the two other exceptions. One is in the Aeronautics Act, so another transportation legislation. But the exception in the Aeronautics Act is not for safety of transportation; it is to share with another state information that the other state may require. Essentially, it’s for national security reasons that the exception exists.
So the exception in the Aeronautics Act is limited to disclosure, not for principles, and it is more restricted. There is another act having to do with public service, but the other exception is also very narrow. I can give you the exact reference. These are the two other exceptions.
This one that we have here is by far the broadest.
Senator MacDonald: You mention that the collection and use of LVVR data for railway safety purposes is reasonable. Of course, that sounds reasonable on the face of it. The railway workers have made it clear that they are more than prepared to be monitored to the same level that any airplane pilot in a cockpit is, or any ship’s captain in a wheelhouse. That seems reasonable to me.
There’s a side of this that strikes me as the imposition of this qualification or this condition on engineers in the cabs of locomotives. This comes across to me as a white-collar conceit being superimposed on a blue-collar worker.
Why aren’t these same conditions being imposed, then, on airplane pilots and ships’ captains?
Mr. Therrien: That’s a good question. I would go back to the expertise in relation to safety, and I’m not the expert. The lens I apply to this question is that, first, recording, whether it’s voice or video, is definitely, on its face, privacy-intrusive. There must be a good justification for this to occur.
Then I look to the experts here, and the public interest at stake is safety. What do these experts say is necessary to be able to investigate incidents after the fact or to prevent incidents?
So if there is an expert board that has given advice to the effect that video and audio recordings would be at least helpful and perhaps necessary, then I think that needs to be considered. But I’m not the expert to make the link between what is necessary for safety reasons and whether the recordings should occur. I would look to the safety board and what its testimony has been as to the effectiveness of this particular type of recording.
The Deputy Chair: We have two minutes left.
Senator Griffin: Okay, this is going to be quick.
You have five proposed amendments. Have you suggested those in the House of Commons, at committee?
Mr. Therrien: No, we have not. To be frank, it’s because we saw the carve-out, or the exception. This is a large bill. We saw the carve-out when we saw the testimony and the debates in Parliament, particularly the fact that Senator Lankin raised this issue. So it’s at that point that we saw the problem, and this is why we’re making these recommendations.
Senator Griffin: Thank you.
The Deputy Chair: I want to thank our witnesses very much for the testimony. As you can see, the issues are big ones and ones that I’m sure will continue to surface. I’m sorry we didn’t have time for a second round. If you have any further thoughts, I know that the clerk would be very happy to receive them. I’d like to thank you and wish you good luck getting home in the snow.
We are continuing our study on Bill C-49. I’d like to welcome the representatives of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Ms. Katherine MacDonald, Executive Director, Policy Development and Analysis Directorate; and Tom Rosser, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch.
Thank you for attending our meeting. I’m going to invite Mr. Rosser to begin with his presentation, and then we’ll move on to rounds of questions.
Tom Rosser, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: First, I would like to thank you for having invited us. My name is Tom Rosser, and I am the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy Branch at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. I am pleased to be here today to speak to Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. I have here with me today Katherine MacDonald, our executive director. She leads the policy team that studies grain transportation issues in our department. I’ll keep my opening remarks brief. Before I address Bill C-49 directly, I’d like to speak about the grain sector and its importance to Canada.
Grains and oilseeds are Canada’s two largest agriculture exports. While these commodities are grown across the country, their production is especially focused in western Canada. In 2017, western Canadian farmers were responsible for 77 per cent of principal field crop production in Canada. Receipts for these crops were over $21 billion and accounted for over half of all western farm cash receipts. Given its size and importance, western grain will play a key role in meeting the government’s target of exporting $75 billion of agri-food products annually by 2025.
Western grain depends on rail to get to domestic and international markets. Tens of thousands of western grain farmers deliver grain to almost 400 prairie elevators. This grain moves in high volumes, and rail is the only practical and economical way of transporting it long distances from the grain elevators to markets and ports. From the Prairies, grain travels an average of 1,500 kilometres to reach a port position.
All of this means that Western Canadians farmers depend on a well-functioning transportation system to remain competitive. Our grain handling and transportation system is world-class as CN and CP are among the most efficient railways in the world. Together, the railways, grain companies and farmers have invested billions of dollars in the supply chain over the past decade.
However, the grain sector had long-standing concerns with rail performance. The most prominent example is the record harvest and harsh winter of 2013-14, which led to an accelerated review of the Canadian Transportation Act and helped to put us on the path towards Bill C-49.
Bill C-49 aims to address many of these long-standing concerns. It will ensure that Canada has a safe, efficient and reliable freight rail system. It takes a balanced approach to the needs of shippers and railways and, if passed, will benefit the grain sector in a number of ways.
I won’t mention all of the benefits, but a few of the prominent ones include providing grain shippers with the ability to include reciprocal penalties and arbitrated service agreements. This was a key request from shippers, including grain companies.
Bill C-49 also modernizes the maximum revenue entitlement to encourage more investment by railways. This will help farmers as it limits freight costs while also fairly crediting railways for their investments.
Extending competitive rail access to a greater number of grain shippers through the long-haul interswitching provision is important as most grain elevators are served by only one railway.
It clarifies the definition of “adequate” and “suitable” to confirm railways must provide shippers with the highest level of service that can reasonably be provided in the circumstances, and, finally, it expands and streamlining access to Canadian Transportation Agency decisions.
Together, these changes will help to address long-standing issues in the freight rail system. They will increase competition and accountability, improve transparency and data visibility and help to level the playing field between railways and shippers.
The grain sector has reacted positively to the bill. The sector is working together, through such fora as the Crop Logistics Working Group, to fully understand the implications of the bill for the sector.
I would like to thank you again, Madam Chair and members of the committee, for providing us with this opportunity to speak with you this evening, and, of course, we’d be happy to try to answer any questions that you might have.
Senator Griffin: Actually, I don’t think I have a long question, but it’s great to get it in.
I’m Chair of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee, so you can guess where I’m going to be coming from on this one. It’s regarding grain shipments. I had hoped we would have had the bill earlier and would have been able to split the bill so that we could have dealt with that part of it separately, but here we are.
What is your intelligence this year regarding how the grain shipments are going? I understand it looked, in the spring, like it would be a lower crop due to the wet spring. Then they indeed had a good crop. How is the transportation going?
Mr. Rosser: I’d like to begin by thanking the senator for her question. I’ll turn shortly to my colleague to see if she could offer additional insight and perspective.
It is true that, relative to what was expected in the estimates midsummer, the grain harvest was considerably higher than expected. There was some instance of drought in southern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta, but, despite that, the grain harvest in 2017, or the 2017-18 crop year, was, I believe, the third-highest on record and only slightly behind last year’s level. So there’s an awful lot of grain to be moved in the system.
Certainly, as I mentioned at the outset, I think the biggest preoccupation, certainly of the grain industry and I believe also of the railway, is to avoid a repeat of some of the difficulties that were experienced in 2013-14. Based on the metrics and the evidence that we track closely, there is no evidence of that happening. The economy, of course, is performing strongly, and the railways have seen a significant uptick, not only in demand for grain transportation but also in terms of many of the other commodities that they produce. So there has been some strain on the system. Some weather-related issues caused some derailments earlier in the grain season. So it is not as though the season has unfolded without difficulty or without challenges, but certainly, to this point, in Western Canada we haven’t seen the protracted periods of extreme cold that characterized the winter of 2013-14. So the system, I think, from what we have seen, has been able to function well.
There have been difficulties, and there are always uncertainties when you’re talking about transportation networks over long distances and harsh weather conditions. At any given time, surprises and setbacks can happen, and there have been a few of those. But they have been managed to this point. That would be my assessment of the situation.
I’d invite Katherine to offer any further thoughts she may have.
Katherine MacDonald, Executive Director, Policy Development and Analysis Directorate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Thank you for the question. I would just add that the supply chain continues to move large amounts of grain this crop year, and efforts are being made to manage the challenge. There is a lot of communication going on between players in the supply chain, and Agriculture Canada is working very closely with Transport Canada to monitor the situation closely. We’ll work to address any issues.
Senator Mitchell: Welcome. Thanks.
Had the provisions of this bill been in place now, under the stresses that you’ve just been speaking about, that is, the pressures of the great crop and so on and the difficulties, how would that have improved the situation? How much better off will farmers be once this is in place? Could you quantify or qualify that in some sense?
Mr. Rosser: Certainly, the view of the grain sector, I think unanimously, from what I can tell, is that they would like to see the bill in place as quickly as possible. I know Ministers Garneau and MacAulay have asked parliamentarians to address it as expeditiously as possible. I think that’s very consistent with the view of grain transporters, that they do think that. If I understood the senator’s question correctly, if the bill were in place now, would it have alleviated stresses? Certainly some in the grain industry would argue that it might give them some additional optionality in certain instances, but I think our view would be that it probably wouldn’t have if you just have a lot of grain to move and a number of risks and challenges. While the bill, we think, will be of long-term benefit to the system overall, I’m not sure that, in terms of where we’re at in this current grain year, things would have unfolded that much differently had the legislation been in place. That would be my assessment.
Senator Mitchell: It balances their access to competitive rates, and it rebalances some imbalances. For example, railway companies could penalize shippers if they didn’t have the grain at the pickup point on time, but the reverse wasn’t true.
Mr. Rosser: Yes, I think it is true that one of the benefits the grain sector sees is a redress of certain things. It’s addressing certain issues that they have called for, for a very long time.
I think the senator’s characterization of what the bill does is a fair one.
Senator Mitchell: “Reasonable direction” is a term that is applied to the long-haul interswitching. It’s a requirement. But it doesn’t apply to regular interswitching. Can you explain why that is, in 25 words or less? It’s very technical, but clearly it relates to, in the first case, people who are captured and they need access to competition. In the other case, it isn’t. They aren’t captured and they have competition.
Mr. Rosser: Certainly my understanding of the intent of the legislation and the policy rationale behind it is that it was to ensure that as many shippers as possible had access to one interswitching mechanism or another. Those who were 30 kilometres out and had access to interswitching would not also be afforded access to the long-haul interswitching. I think that is the reasoning behind the legislation as drafted. That’s my understanding of it. Again, I would invite Katherine, in five words or less, to add what she might have to add.
Ms. MacDonald: I’m okay.
Senator Mercer: Thank you both for being here. I have to qualify myself as Senator Griffin did. I am the longest-serving member on the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, so that’s where my questions come from.
I’m curious that Agriculture Canada would allow this legislation to proceed with the requirement to service the agriculture industry embedded in an omnibus bill. When the previous legislation was brought in to address the problems of 2013-14, it helped fix the problem and then it was extended and helped maintain fixing the problem. Why would you not put in a separate bill to fix the problem in the long term and, at the same time, extend what already works? Now you have it locked in an omnibus bill. Fortunately, so far, things are going okay.
But it boggles my mind. It was brought in by the previous government and then extended by this government, so the political stuff is out of the way. But we’re not hearing Agriculture Canada — neither the minister nor officials — saying, “Yes, it would have been better if we extended this and put this in a separate bill.” And then probably with the cooperation of all sides, we might have that legislation passed, in place, servicing and protecting Canadian farmers.
Mr. Rosser: Madam Chair, in terms of how we got to where we are, in my understanding and as the senator noted, this is a Transport Canada piece of legislation. But the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, which the senator referred to, was borne out of the crisis in 2013-14 and was intended to be a temporary measure. My colleagues at Transport Canada would be able to address it better than I can, but Bill C-49 was intended to be a more forward-looking and longer-term piece of legislation that would be more enduring.
Again, I’m probably getting out of my depth on the broader bill, but in terms of bringing greater transparency to the transportation system, philosophically, many of the things that Bill C-49 attempts to do for the grain transportation system and the rail freight system are to bring to other segments of our transportation system. So there is a certain consistency, certainly from a departmental point of view. What is important from our perspective is that the system works as well as possible for grain transporters, in as fair and equitable a fashion as possible, and it would be our view that Bill C-49 does that in some important ways.
Senator Mercer: Again, I don’t necessarily buy the argument, but it’s there.
The other provision of the act is the extension of interswitching. I’m curious as to where the numbers came from. Did the numbers come from Agriculture Canada, or did the numbers come from Transport Canada? It seems to me that to fix the problem that was there, extending interswitching made some sense, but extending it to the distance that is now provided for in this bill is exposing us to competition from people we didn’t have competition from before -- American railroads coming into Canada and scooping up business. Maybe they’re helping in moving the product to market, but moving to market where? Not to Canadian ports, but to American ports. Not only have we lost the shipping of the grain by rail, we’ve lost it through the ports, and it’s now going through American ports.
What boggles my mind is here we are in the middle of NAFTA renegotiations and we’ve exposed ourselves by giving away, without any reciprocity, exposure to allowing competition from somebody we didn’t have competition from before. We’re trying to create competition between Canadian railroads, and then we expose ourselves to this competition from American railroads. Can you explain? Did that come from Agriculture Canada or Transport Canada?
Mr. Rosser: In response to the senator’s question and observation, I would note that certainly from our point of view departmentally — and I think it would be fair to say from the perspective of the grain sector — a key consideration was to make interswitching a competitive option available to as many shippers as possible. In this instance, as many grain shippers as possible.
I noted at the outset there are 400 grain terminals across Western Canada. It’s different from other commodities in that whether it’s lumber, potash or other major commodities shipped through Western Canada, they’re more concentrated in terms of where they originate. Grain, by nature of the industry, is much more diffuse. Circumstances vary.
I would note as well that the senator is quite correct that a very large proportion of our grain harvest is exported, much of that through major Canadian ports, but the United States and to a lesser extent Mexico are significant markets for grain. Important quantities of different types of grain get shipped not only overseas by ship but to customers in the United States, and not only by U.S. railroads but the two major Canadian railroads as well. Both have extensive networks through the United States.
Senator Plett: I’m going to continue right along the line of what Senator Mercer has already been asking, and I’ll just simply ask the question a little differently.
Senator Mercer is quite correct. Bill C-30 was a great piece of legislation, and the grain farmers were extremely happy. I’m of the opinion that if something isn’t broken, why try to fix it? Transport wants to bring in Bill C-49. As the senator has rightfully pointed out, I think, and I may be wrong in this, it was extended twice. That may be incorrect and it’s really irrelevant, but it was extended and the farmers were extremely happy about it. And the farmers asked for another extension.
Just prior to Christmas, the minister was lobbying and phoning and on television almost threatening that we needed to pass this bill right now. I got a call from him and I’m being told that farmers in Western Canada are all going to starve if we don’t pass this bill immediately, and here we are.
Indeed, these farmers came to see me. They would have been quite happy with another extension, but the minister refused to grant that extension.
My question to you, Mr. Rosser, is this: In your opinion, aside from Bill C-49, if Bill C-30 had been extended, would that have satisfied that aspect for the Canadian grain farmers, if they could have extended Bill C-30?
Mr. Rosser: I have a couple of points here. One is that, as the senator noted, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act was always envisaged as a temporary measure in response to a crisis. It was extended for one year in 2016, and the senator correctly notes that if many in the grain sector had their druthers, it might have been. There were certainly voices calling for it to be further extended.
I would note as well, though, that while difficult choices, trade-offs, compromises are inherent in any policy-making in this space, overall the reaction from the grain sector to Bill C-49 has been a very positive one, and all of the voices in the sector that I have heard are ministers calling for as speedy a Royal Assent as possible for the bill.
While the bill has many important benefits for the grain sector, many are long-term in nature, and the bill was intended not as something that would alleviate short-term problems but as something that would instead create a balance that would leave all parties in a sustainable and economically viable position for the longer term, and that was the intent behind it.
Senator Plett: You are correct that it was intended for that; however, many of the grain farmers would still say they’re in a crisis situation now. Again, that certainly didn’t answer the question as to whether or not this would have alleviated that problem.
Let me go to the next question — and again on top of what Senator Mercer has already done — have these same grain farmers not asked-- and you may or may not be aware of this -- that this bill be amended exactly on that interswitch portion of it? Indeed, they are not happy. They say this is better than nothing, and if we can’t get anything, we need to get this, but, please, let’s get an amendment.
Mr. Rosser: I preface my answer by saying I don’t purport to speak for the grain industry, but I work closely with them and have listened at length to their perspectives on their issues, as I have with other stakeholders in the process, and certainly all of those from whom I’ve heard recently on Bill C-49 have urged for its speedy passage, and they will often add a caveat saying that if the Senate chooses to amend the bill, here are some issues we would like you to consider.
It is true that if the Senate intends to revisit portions of the bill, they have ideas that they would like this committee and the Senate to consider as part of that process.
Again, from every stakeholder I have heard from, their first statement on the subject is that they very much favour a speedy passage of the bill.
Senator Mitchell: I’d like to address Senator Mercer’s point of view about the U.S. competition and imbalance. And while Senator Mercer has been on that Agriculture Committee a lot longer than I ever was, I disagree with his take on that.
Could you confirm that Canadian railroads own and operate over 17,000 kilometres of railway in the U.S., while American railroads own and operate fewer than 1,000 kilometres of railroad in Canada?
Mr. Rosser: I’m quoting from memory, but those figures sound correct or very close.
Senator Mitchell: So about 17 times more Canadian in the U.S. than U.S. in Canada.
My second point is that to the extent that we have allowed American railroads to come particularly into the West 300 kilometres, isn’t that advantageous to Canadian Western grain farmers and other farmers and other producers in the West because it enhances the competition that they need to sustain a market-based, competitive pricing regime?
Mr. Rosser: I characterize my understanding of the grain sector’s perspective as competition is good. Whether that competition comes from Canadian-based providers or U.S.-based ones, certainly from the perspective of shippers, is probably a secondary consideration.
The Deputy Chair: There being no further questions, I want to thank you both very much for your witness this evening and your thoughts and deliberations. I would like to thank my colleagues for their questions. You can see this is a piece of legislation we’re taking very seriously and going through with care for all concerned.
Honourable senators, for our meeting next Tuesday, we are going to hear from the Canadian National Railway Company, the Railway Association of Canada, the Western Canadian Short Line Railway Association, the Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, the Freight Management Association of Canada, and the Western Canadian Shippers’ Coalition.