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Remarks in Senate Chamber - May 8, 2018

Hon. Lynn Beyak: I wonder if I may have leave to ask a question of Senator MacDonald. I was standing but not quickly enough, I don’t think.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Beyak: Thank you very much. Senator MacDonald, you and Senator Plett and Senator Mercer have obviously done a lot of research and work on this. It’s my understanding that there are a couple of quick fixes that are available to the government that they could pass by the end of this session and give themselves time to go back and craft a few proper small bills to address each sector independently.

Are you aware of those quick fixes? I too want to vote against this bill.

Senator MacDonald: I would prefer if you would share with the chamber what those quick fixes are because there are many proposed options out there. If you would share them with me, I would respond to them.

Senator Beyak: I don’t want to hurt our Prairie grain farmers, but I do feel we need to call the government’s bluff.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: If you have a question, that’s fair. Otherwise, Senator Beyak, you might want to join the debate.

Senator Beyak: What do you think are the two best ways to fix the flaws in this bill by the end of this session so the government can craft a proper bill?

Senator MacDonald: I guess it depends on what you believe the most important flaws are that have to be fixed. I would love to see the LVVR provision removed. I think it’s a huge breach of privacy and unnecessary. I’m adamant about that.

And I would like to see the Maritime provinces and the ports in the Maritimes treated like any other Canadian port in any other part of this country. The idea that we’re protecting the corridor— the Montreal exchange area— is fine and I understand that, but if they can make an exception for the railways in northern Quebec, surely they can make an exception for the railroads in the Maritime provinces.