Thank you, Madam Chair and members of the committee, for the opportunity to discuss Transport Canada's initiatives to enhance bus passenger safety.
As mentioned, I am joined today by Michael DeJong. He is the Director General of Transport Canada's Multimodal and Road Safety Branch.
At the outset, I would like to emphasize that Transport Canada will not hesitate to take every action to protect Canadians on our roads. The importance of this commitment was underscored with the January 2019 collision involving a transit bus in Ottawa, and in the context of the 2018 Humboldt tragedy.
My thoughts and prayers remain with those families as we approach the one-year anniversary of that tragedy.
To strengthen passenger bus safety, the raised this important topic with the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety at their meeting on January 21, 2019. As a result, the ministers agreed to task officials with a series of action items to strengthen bus occupant safety—namely, developing a national standard for entry-level training for commercial drivers, including bus drivers, by January 2020, as well as finalizing a technical standard for electronic logging devices by this spring, a technology that will help track the hours of commercial drivers, such as motorcoach drivers, to reduce the risk of fatigue.
Passenger bus safety in Canada is a shared responsibility amongst all levels of government and bus operators. Transport Canada's role is to establish specific safety requirements set out in the Canada motor vehicle safety standards, such as brake systems and emergency exit requirements. Provinces and territories enforce safety and prescribe rules of the road, such as speed limits and vehicle licences.
Transport Canada works closely with provinces and territories and key partners to advance a cohesive, national approach to these issues.
This coordinated approach to passenger bus safety includes concerted efforts to address the Transportation Safety Board's recommendations stemming from the VIA Rail-OC Transpo collision in 2013. Statistics drawn from the national collision database show that driver behaviour is the leading contributing factor in fatal collisions in this country, with speeding accounting for 23%, distraction 22%, and impairment representing 19%.
Transport Canada's efforts to improve commercial bus safety extend beyond the structure of the bus. Specifically, the department is taking a comprehensive, multipronged approach to commercial passenger bus safety that includes efforts to address structural crashworthiness, crash avoidance, human factors and vulnerable road users outside the bus. For instance, in February of this year, the department published comprehensive guidelines to reduce the risk of driver distraction from in-vehicle displays.
We have also completed a review of accident data from urban centres to support the potential development of a standard for crashworthiness. We have also worked with industry to develop a comprehensive research plan to look at new technologies that can help protect bus passengers in the event of a collision. Recognizing that collision avoidance is the key to saving lives, the department published a regulation in June 2017 to mandate electronic stability control in heavy vehicles like motorcoaches and school buses. This will improve driver control and help prevent rollovers.
These efforts were further reinforced in July 2018, when the department published a regulation making seat belts mandatory in highway buses. As part of this regulatory initiative, Transport Canada also introduced technical manufacturing requirements for when school bus operators choose to install seat belts on their school buses. Recognizing that technology evolves and we can never be safe enough, Transport Canada is always searching for ways to strengthen road safety. We're working with partners to take a fresh look at existing and potential new measures to further strengthen school bus safety, with an emphasis on seat belts. In particular, we've established a task force bringing together federal, provincial and territorial government representatives, as well as safety associations, manufacturers, operators and school board representatives, to examine bus standards and operations, both inside and outside the bus.
The safety of all road users continues to be a top priority for Transport Canada, and the department is steadfast in its commitment to continue working with key partners in order to sustain momentum in this area.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
We look forward to taking your questions.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would like to thank the witnesses for being here.
Without going so far as to talk about an admission of failure, the reason we are conducting this study today is that we must at least seriously consider that more needs to be done. Some tragedies have left entire families in mourning and with a more difficult life to live.
I was particularly interested in the testimony of the TSB President last Tuesday. She said that the mandate of organizations equivalent to Canada's TSB in many developed countries includes the review of bus collisions. In Canada, however, TSB data can only be obtained when there is an accident between a bus and another means of transportation, such as trains.
It is already within the TSB's mandate to review bus collisions with trains, planes and boats. Does it seem appropriate to you to ask Transport Canada or the minister to include in the TSB's mandate the review of accidents where two buses have collided?
I didn't hear his evidence, unfortunately, but there is no doubt that an approach to ensuring.... When we talk about bus passenger safety, we have to look inside and outside the bus. That is definitely the focus of our strategy and research.
We know that vulnerable road users around a bus, which is usually the biggest vehicle on the road, are definitely at risk as well. At the same time, we know that seat belts add another layer of protection. That's why we have that stream of the task force looking at that issue holistically, with a look at seat belts but not ignoring all the other aspects related to proper lighting, mirrors, and signs that go up around school buses, to make sure that, on or off that bus, children are safest.
We know that children travelling in a personal vehicle are at risk as well. Another operational concern is that we want to make sure that we get that right, so that we're not taking buses off the road by putting in unreasonable requirements.
Those are all the different factors that will go into being able to give a proper recommendation to ministers.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thanks, guys, for being here. I really appreciate it.
I'm going to take a bit of a different angle on this.
For the most part during this process, we've been concentrating a great deal on the buses. What I'd like to concentrate on is where the buses travel. As you know, we just put together a national trade corridors interim report, looking at trade corridors, the infrastructure, roads, rail, air and water.
In your dealings and experience, besides the buses themselves, looking at where they're travelling on roads in particular, do you find that there are investments we can make within that infrastructure to accomplish what we're trying to accomplish here with respect to bus safety?
I would point to a couple of items.
In October 2018, the and his provincial and territorial colleagues released a study on strengthening the safety of vulnerable road users. That included 57 safety measures, a number of which were around infrastructure, a number of infrastructure projects that are currently being piloted. Segregated cycling tracks would be an example.
Through the task force, Transport Canada and other partners, provinces and territories in particular, are looking at potential safety measures both on and off the school bus. That would include looking at school bus loading zones, or potentially looking at intersections. Exciting technologies are increasingly available, for example, around looking at the potential to have smart intersections, or vehicle-to-intersection or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. This is an area that Transport Canada is looking at and monitoring the emerging technologies that could potentially have significant benefits for road safety.
Indeed. I'll begin and turn to Mike for further detail.
Three recommendations were made by the TSB as a result of that tragedy here in the city. The first had to deal with in-vehicle video monitor displays. We've brought forward guidelines to deal with that.
The second, which you mentioned, was with respect to crashworthiness standards. That's where I mentioned our procuring out-of-service buses to be able to do the testing, to come to standards that will properly deal with the crashworthiness of buses, which will directly address that recommendation.
You might note that their last reassessment was that we were taking too much time. I agree that we were taking too long. It's a complicated issue, but we've advanced that and we're accelerating that to be able to procure these buses and do the testing this summer. It was important work to be carried out so we can advance that and come to a conclusion one way or the other with respect to standards on crashworthiness.
The third was developing a standard with the Society of Automotive Engineers for the event data recorders on all commercial passenger buses. I think that's progressing well. The TSB remarked that this work is progressing at pace.
Thank you very much for inviting me to participate on this panel about the important topic of school bus safety.
I will also be able to answer your questions in French.
Student safety is the number one priority for OSTA and for our member school boards, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board. We provide motorized transportation services for 70,000 children and active transportation programs for 45,000 students who walk, bike and roll to school.
Safety is dependent on a number of factors, and we use risk assessment and mitigation along with probability of outcomes in our determination. In the absence of reliable and relevant data, what is considered safe may be open to interpretation and can be subjective. What the public considers reasonable also comes into play. School buses have consistently been the safest vehicles on the road based on passenger kilometres travelled. The question is whether seat belts make the school bus even safer.
Some 20 years ago, one of our yellow buses was hit broadside by a truck, and one child died in that collision, but since then no student has suffered life-threatening injuries or loss of life due to a collision in our system. ln fact, last year one of our buses was T-boned by a crane. The bus driver, who was belted in, expired, but the student walked away without injuries.
It is essential that studies be conducted to reflect Canadian conditions and expectations. Reliance on accident statistics in southern United States does very little to address the way we do things up here in the Great White North. To wit, I could not find a single image of students in snowsuits wearing seat belts on a bus.
Why are snowsuits and other winter wear, such as mittens, such an important consideration? First of all, the snowsuit limits the child's ability to move freely, limits dexterity and can become jammed in the seat belt mechanism. The snowsuit padding can give the impression of a tight seat belt at the time of attachment and can become compressed during collision impact, leading to excess space between the body and the seat. This slack then potentially allows the body to float and to slide out of the restraints, increasing the risk of injury.
We believe the following studies should be considered. First is the physical ability and manual dexterity required of children as young as three and a half years old to correctly attach the lap belt and adjust the shoulder belt to avoid stomach, neck and back injuries. Members on our Regional Safe Schools Committee express the thought that of the 10,000 kindergarten students we transport, only some would master this skill by the end of the school year, and even students up to grade 3 would find seat belts challenging.
Then, test the ability of children to undo the belt in the event of an emergency with the bus right side up, lying on its side, and on its roof. Based on one bus fire we experienced four years ago, the lone student who evacuated the bus said, “I got off and turned around, and the bus went poof!” We anticipate that a busload of 70 children in full winter gear will not be able to undo their seat belts and evacuate a burning bus as quickly as is necessary to avoid smoke inhalation and burns, particularly if the bus is on its side or upside down.
Third is the possibility for seat belts themselves to cause injury or death under the following conditions: first, incorrect or improper adjustments by the student—from the online images showing kids wearing seat belts on school buses, it appears that at least half of them are not actually wearing the belts properly; second, the way students might use the belt to hit or choke themselves or other students; third, injury to students who are not clipped into their belt at all.
The physical ability and dexterity of students with different types of special needs—these are both mobility and cognitive—to attach and to undo their seat belts in an emergency should be tested. Our goal is inclusivity and independence rather than isolation. The use of seat belts adds a level of complexity for many students who find it challenging and rewarding just to be on a regular yellow bus.
Finally would come general crash testing with and without seat belts for front, rear, side and rollover collisions at slow, mid-range and high speeds.
From a purely operational perspective, the implementation of seat belts on buses would radically change the way we deliver services in the Ottawa region. First of all, it would exacerbate our growing driver shortage because of the added responsibility, potential personal liability and demerit points due to tickets for minors in their care who don't wear their seat belts.
A proposed mitigation plan would be to engage bus monitors. lt is unlikely that we would be able to hire 650 to 1,000 part-time people for this work, given the labour market in Ottawa. The added time required to attach belts, along with the time required to deal with students who remove their seat belts in transit, would no longer allow OSTA to plan routes that service two or three schools in a row. We estimate that an additional 100 or more buses would be required to transport the same number of students.
With a lack of drivers and bus monitors, and lack of additional funding, we would need to cut service for at least 15,000 students to implement seat belts. The risk to the safety of these children would actually increase as they are relegated to other vehicles that are much less safe than yellow school buses, such as cars and city buses.
The consideration, then, after all the studies are completed, is this. Would parents choose seat belts on buses even if it possibly meant their children could no longer access publicly funded transportation and were relegated to a less safe mode of transportation? Or would parents consider today's school buses safe enough without seat belts?
What I want to clarify is that it's not about whether the cost is justified or not. Under the listing of requirements or studies that I've suggested, are seat belts on buses, under our conditions with kids in snowsuits, proven to decrease a very low probability of risk now to the extent that there is not an increased risk from the implementation of belts?
We see a lot of other issues that arise from using belts, other than the loss of efficiency. There is the possibility that kids are not clipped in properly. That causes more distress to us than the possibility of a potential accident at some point in the future, because we have 24 million riders a year in our system. To have to monitor the belting of each one of those riders to ensure that they are properly belted in, in the event of even a minor accident—because they do happen—would be a challenge. Then we'd also be increasing the potential for injury in minor accidents because they're wearing belts, whereas today they wouldn't have an injury.
So that's the testing, really, that we're looking for. Does the implementation of the belts lead to greater risks? If it doesn't, and if it actually is proven to lower risk, then great. We would say, “It definitely makes the bus safer. It's worth it to implement belts.” However, that data is not available for us right now.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Ms. Kyriaco, for being with us.
Following on from what Mr. Hardie just mentioned, I'll tell you, without telling you my age, that I was born at a time when seat belts didn't exist. We didn't ask ourselves any questions in this sense, but over time, it became obvious. In fact, it is the younger generations who have always applied the changes. The rule existed, but we were reluctant.
Could we consider a different system for very young children who are supposedly unable to buckle their seat belts themselves? Based on your experience, at what age would you determine that a child can buckle a seat belt on a school bus?
I understand that, but if there were seat belts, we could apply different standards—for example, with respect to the number of passengers on the bus—for secondary and primary schools. These are only avenues for reflection to try to find a solution. It seems to me that, more and more, the seat belt is becoming a matter of course. However, I understand the problems associated with this. Perhaps, for the time being, we shouldn't target the economic contingencies that would hinder security, but rather see how we adapt budgets to the standards that we consider essential.
If these buses, which carry both secondary and elementary school students and can seat three students per bench, operate at 50 kilometres per hour in urban areas and an accident occurs, we know that the impact will be relatively contained. However, these are exactly the same school buses that carry our students—I too used to be a teacher—when they go to see a play in another municipality, when they go to play winter sports or when they go on a summer outing. These are the same buses that take the highway.
Do you think this could be another avenue? It could be determined that, for urban traffic, things can be thought of in one way, but that, for all cases where the vehicle is travelling at high speed on the motorway, seat belts must be worn.
Madam Chair, members of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Madam Clerk, first of all I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you about Drone Delivery Canada, provide an update on the considerable commercial and technological advances we've made as a company in the last two years, and share new information regarding the sector and our latest mandate regarding service delivery to northern, rural and remote communities.
Since my last appearance at the committee, in November 2016, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. For those who were not present during my last visit, I will remind you that Drone Delivery Canada is a pioneering technology firm based out of Toronto, with a focus on designing, developing and implementing a commercially viable drone delivery system within the Canadian geography. Our group consists of highly seasoned technology professionals who have successfully built, owned and operated ventures in the Canadian marketplace. Drone Delivery Canada is one of the first federally certified drone delivery operators in Canada, and the first Canadian drone cargo operator recognized by Transport Canada as a compliant operator.
In the near future, drones will be able to deliver products faster, more easily and more cheaply, allowing organizations to grow their revenues and bottom lines. Regulatory bodies continue to move forward on the regulatory frameworks of commercial drone use, and we are seeing a willingness on the part of Transport Canada to work towards the industry and embrace innovation.
Industries that would utilize drone delivery services are endless. They can include logistics providers, postal delivery providers, first responders, parts distribution, medical supply delivery, and overall distribution.
DDC's drone service operates between fixed end points called depots. The drones are highly automated and are controlled through a centrally managed software system at a mission control centre, which can be located where the aircraft is operating or at DDC's main operation centre near Toronto. Trained and licensed supervisory pilots located at mission control oversee all flights and can intervene at any time should there be a need to do so.
In February 2018, DDC was granted a compliant operator special flight operations certificate by Transport Canada, allowing us to operate across Canada. DDC's first commercial aircraft, the X1000 Sparrow, was deemed compliant with Transport Canada's standards in December 2017. It is capable of carrying 4.5 kilos of payload over a potential distance of 20 kilometres.
Our recently announced heavy-lifting Condor drone will soon start testing and will be able to carry up to 180 kilos of cargo with a potential range of 150 kilometres.
It is also important to note that we have completed a significant amount of “beyond visual line of sight” testing under the supervision of Transport Canada. We have signed a $2.5-million commercial agreement and are currently in advanced negotiations for multiple commercial agreements in 2019. We are in discussions with 50 customers, including retailers, cargo networks, hospital groups, couriers, logistic service providers, as well as various remote communities in Canada. We have agreements with the Moose Cree First Nation, NAPA Auto Parts, Peel region paramedics, and many more. We're in partnership with Toyota Tsusho, and in advanced discussion with several cargo carriers.
We are working on a second drone cargo network in the Northwest Territories. We see tremendous opportunities to address the needs of remote communities, including transportation of goods deemed essential for economic growth, such as food and medical equipment. Our intention is to serve 200 northern and remote communities across the country over the next five years. This is very good news for Canada, especially for communities in the north that continuously struggle hard with the lack of roads and other transportation modes.
Those communities, with mostly indigenous people, have access to food and goods; however, it is at prohibitive prices. The high cost of food is unacceptable in a country like ours, where everybody should be equal. I saw a CBC news article the other day that a mother of four in Iqaluit had just purchased a 24-pack of bottled water for $29.99 at a grocery store. Meanwhile, in Winnipeg a 24-pack costs just $4.49. This is not acceptable. I've seen this also in Moosonee, where we are working closely with the Moose Cree First Nation to build the first affordable year-round cargo delivery service to operate in the region.
Affordability is a key component of our value proposition. The customer value of using low-cost, highly automated drones over short flight paths would be substantially better than that of competing services using helicopters. The service will begin by offering small-package delivery service on fixed routes, but it is expected to add increased distances and payload capacity as new, heavier-lifting drone models become approved by Transport Canada.
The business is to be community-owned and operated by the Moose Cree First Nation. Although financial forecasts show the potential for profitability as the service expands, the primary objective of the business is to create social benefit to the community. The benefits to the community from the creation of a new year-round transportation infrastructure include better communication, new employment opportunities, a platform for new businesses to serve the community, better health care and more education options for the youth.
Through increased productivity and technological innovation, growth within the Canadian supply chains and well-paying job creation in communities, as well as social, health and environmental benefits, projects in northern and indigenous communities will bring public economic and innovation benefits. Finally, Drone Delivery Canada will also contribute to reduced gas emissions. It will help to reduce diesel use in remote indigenous communities.
We ask Transport Canada and the federal government to work with us to help communities in the north have a better life.
To conclude, I will say that just like a railway in the sky, Drone Delivery Canada brings a new dimension to transportation. The 19th century was that of trains, and the 20th century was that of cars. The 21st century will be that of drones.
Thank you for your attention. I'm ready to take your questions.
Thank you very much for your presentation, and thanks for returning to the committee. I'm not a regular member of the committee, but I understand that you have requested to return. When put out the original rules on drones, in my riding I had a lot of push-back from people who were unhappy, both businesses and individuals. I wrote petitions. I helped my constituents. I wrote letters.
Unfortunately, today I've come here to move a motion on behalf of one of my constituents. Notice was given on November 22, 2018. I'm going to read it quickly into the record, because I want this to come to a vote on behalf of my constituent Tim Reed.
That the Committee undertake a study on allowing Canadians to bring their legally owned, U.S.-registered and plated passenger vehicles into Canada for a defined temporary period, in the same manner that U.S. citizens may do in Canada, without having to pay any taxes, duties or importation fees; that the committee report its findings to the House no later than 90 sitting days following adoption of this motion; that the committee make recommendations on actions the Government of Canada should undertake to adopt a border control system that allows for the temporary use of American-plated vehicles by Canadian citizens; that no less than two meetings of the Committee be dedicated to this study; and that the Committee request that the Government table a comprehensive response to its report.
I did give notice of it. I understand that there have been conversations outside of the committee about potentially doing this already. The reason I'm bringing it is that.... It's a small niche issue, and I recognize that. I'm going to reference a few letters and responses I have actually received from the minister and from the Library of Parliament, as well as a petition response I got, just to show you that I don't come here randomly proposing a committee study. I have done my homework. I have looked into different avenues, including private members' business, to try to address this issue. Every single avenue has been blocked off to me, so to speak, because I think only this committee could actually resolve the problem I have.
My constituent wrote to the minister and received a response—
I'll give you an example, based on Mr. Reed's experience. This would be for a Canadian who owns an American vehicle.
I live in Alberta, and there are a lot of Albertans who own cottages in Montana. For example, you own an American-plated Montana Jeep. You decide you are going to do repairs on it and put it on a trailer and try to drive it back to, say, Lethbridge or Calgary, to your own shop perhaps. There are quite a few people in my riding who like to do that.
You're not allowed to bring your Jeep into Canada without formally importing it and then paying a 6.1% import duty as if you are going to bring it into Canada and keep it here. That's not what many of my constituents and Mr. Reed want to do; they want to temporarily bring their vehicles into Canada.
Currently, there are no rules that allow someone to do that without paying the full import fee. That has been confirmed to me by the Library of Parliament, and by the and civil servants in Transport Canada.
As I said, it's a very niche issue—very, very unusual. If it's a Canadian citizen who owns the vehicle, they should be allowed to bring in this American-plated vehicle for just a few days. I don't imagine that people bring them in for months on end for regular residential or commercial use. It would just be for doing repairs or upgrades to the vehicle and then sending it back across the border.
You could impose a system of fines on individuals who break the rules. It would be very easy to track the vehicles, because at the border you'd collect all the regular information.
Mr. Reed proposed a few systems on this. The minister responded to him and said that non-compliant vehicles—these are older vehicles, typically pre-1979—wouldn't be allowed into the country because they're not considered safe. I reminded the minister in a separate communication that we're talking about compliant vehicles.
For the Jeep example I gave you, a regular vehicle used on the road.... If you're like me, you like going to the back country where there is no cellphone service and nothing really out there. You take your Jeep. You might damage it while going bogging. You're going to bring it back to your place. If you do it in Montana and you don't want to pay exorbitant mechanics fees or don't have the tools to do it there, you'd perhaps bring it back to your home in Canada, fix it there, and then take it back to the United States, where it belongs, because it's plated in an American jurisdiction.
I mentioned the response from the minister, from February 26, 2016, which mentions this. I just want to read to you a short paragraph from the minister:
As you pointed out, the temporary use of a U.S.-certified and registered vehicle in Canada by a Canadian citizen is an infrequent occurrence. However, as this option may be of interest to some Canadians, Transport Canada officials will review options to possibly address this situation. Any potential solution would require legislative changes and would take time to develop, approve, communicate and implement.
However, I have had no news whatsoever, and there is no information available anywhere on whether that review has taken place. The minister has not told me—
I then tabled a petition on September 25, 2017. The petition number is 421-01658. The minister provided only a four-line response. I was looking for information about this review being done by Transport Canada. As far as I can tell, there was no response. It's not much of a response; it just tells me that the motor vehicle safety regulations will need to be amended in the future in order to make it possible.
If you're a regular Canadian citizen, you can't do this, but if you are a Canadian business, like U-Haul, you can bring American-plated vehicles into Canada and use them for an expressly commercial purpose. That is because they have an apportioned plate system that allows them to be moved across states and also allows them to be used in Canada. This apportionment system already exists, and it could be a model used for Canadian citizens. This is where I have a problem with how the current rules are and the responses I've been getting from Transport Canada. If there is a specific rule for business and a different rule for Canadian citizens, that seems patently unfair; citizens should have the same rights as business.
U-Haul can do this right now, and we see these Arizona-plated U-Haul vehicles. If you've moved in the last 10 or 15 years, you've noticed they're all plated in Arizona. They are being used on a regular basis in Canada.
If I had a Jeep that's plated in Montana, at my cottage at the lake or just in a friend's driveway, and it needed to be fixed up with perhaps new tires and I wanted to put it on a trailer and bring it into Canada, I would pay an import fee as if I'm trying to bring it into the country and keep it here, which is not something I want to do.
I've looked at potential avenues. I thought I could do a private member's bill, and this would avoid having to come to the committee here. I could just propose a fix for this. I asked the Library of Parliament how this would work and whether I could make it happen. Their response to me was that I'm not allowed to do this, because the tariffs come under the Customs Act, and it's a certain provision within it. It's passed by an order in council. Private member's bills are not allowed to interfere with the determination of a tariff and whom it applies to. It would have to be done by order in council, so I can't do a private member's bill.
I did table motion 197, which addresses this issue. I thought it was an elegant way of dealing with it, but unfortunately, because we're running out of time in this Parliament, with the potential election as late as October 21, 2019, I've exhausted the means of getting to a resolution through this motion that would have instructed two committees of the House to look at this issue.
This is why I'm asking this transportation committee to devote no less than two meetings to look at this issue. This is really for government officials who could come here and explain the mechanics of how an amendment to legislation could be done. I would need that information. The committee could then provide recommendations and a report on how to address the matter and the types of legislative changes that would need to be made so that Canadian citizens would have the same rights as American Canadian-based businesses that have this right. U-Haul has this ability right now.
I'm trying to work out some kind of.... I don't want you to leave with any false hope. The bottom line here is that we do have a full agenda going into the end of the session, so I'm not sure where we would fit this in. However, I think it's a great idea. I think you're bang on here. May I suggest that it possibly go to another committee that may have the time? Probably a more appropriate committee would be public safety versus transport. Frankly, it's probably going to hit on three or four different ministries: Public Safety, Transport and possibly even Global Affairs.
I don't want to lose it, because Tom is moving in the right direction here and, quite frankly, I agree with him. But there is a reality attached to the time that we have available, number one. We just had a debate with Mr. Aubin at the last meeting with respect to what he wants to see on the floor, which is also, by the way, in the queue, if we have any time. The agreed-upon queue was decided at the last meeting.
Having run out of time, in fairness to Tom, I think we should try to punt it over to public safety to see if they have any time. When we come back, regardless of what manner we come back in, we can then do it at this committee, when time allows.
Perhaps I can retake the floor then.
To address Mr. Badawey's point that public safety might be the better committee, or several other committees could look at this, it's actually the Motor Vehicle Safety Act that needs to be amended. I can list the subsections for you: subsection 7(1.1) to subsection 7(1.4) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. I have them here. They were amended in 2012. These are the subsections that allow U-Haul to more easily transfer their trucks across the border. They have the apportionment system, and this creates a temporary entrance into Canada. This is why only this committee can take a look at it, because you can seek clarity around here from officials on the government side on how this could be amended for temporary entry of American-plated vehicles by a Canadian citizen.
As I said, I looked at different avenues. It's not strictly an import or customs issue, because there should be an import duty on American vehicles that are coming into Canada. The issue is a Canadian citizen who is not trying to import the vehicle. They just want to put better tires on their Jeep and they're putting it on their trailer. Then they get blocked at the border by border guards, who are rightfully trying to apply the law by saying, you can't do that.
I understand it is a niche issue. On the other hand, niche issues almost never get taken care of, especially when they hit several different potential departments. This one is very complex. That is why it has taken me so long to sort out the best avenue for fixing it, once the avenue of using a private member's bill simply to amend the law was taken away from me.
I do think this is the committee to do it. If you're telling me that you would consider this for an extra 15 minutes at another meeting, or that perhaps you have an amendment you want to make, for example to reduce it to one meeting, I'm pretty friendly and easy-going. This isn't the finance committee. I don't want to blow up your committee. I'm more than happy to—
No, I'm not. I'm the nice one from Calgary.
I'm more than happy to entertain an amendment that could be brought forward at a different meeting on this subject, but it is the Motor Vehicle Safety Act that's applied here. I'm convinced that if amendments were made to those sections that I listed, Canadians with American-plated vehicles would have a means of bringing them in without paying an import fee for vehicles they are not trying to import.
Maybe you have 15 minutes at another meeting that you'd like to dedicate for this. I know that my committee, finance, is completely booked in May, every single day of the week from Monday to Thursday, because we're going to be doing budget. You can always schedule more meetings, I think. You are the masters of your own domain. You can do that. You have the power to do so—
Mr. Jeneroux: As long as it's in public.
Mr. Kmiec: —as long as it's in public, obviously. Thank you very much. That would be nice.
I could list other sections of other acts that apply, but those are all customs issues, and you could avoid that entirely by making amendments to those sections.
I'm going to cede the floor now and hope that we either have a recorded division on this motion now or, if there's agreement on this side to perhaps return to it in another meeting, next week on Tuesday, I'd be happy to return here.