Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Issue 16 - Evidence
OTTAWA, Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade met this day at 4:30 p.m. to study on the rise of China, India and Russia in the global economy and the implications for Canadian policy.
Denis Robert, Clerk of the Committee: Honourable senators, I see a quorum. In the absence of the chair, we need to elect an acting chair for this meeting. Are there motions to that effect?
Senator Smith: I move that Senator Dawson be the acting chair.
Mr. Robert: It is moved by Senator Smith that Senator Dawson take the chair for this meeting.
In the absence of other motions, I consider Senator Dawson elected.
Senator Dennis Dawson (Acting Chair) in the chair.
Welcome to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The committee continues his study on the rise of China, India and Russia in the global economy and the implications for Canadian policy. We have today Mr. George Haynal, Vice President, Government Affairs of Bombardier Inc.
Mr. Haynal is a former Canadian diplomat and public servant. Prior to his retirement from the Canadian Foreign Service in 2002, Mr. Haynal was assistant deputy minister for the Americas in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He last served abroad as Consul General in New York with concurrent accreditation as Commissioner to Bermuda.
He is a distinguished visiting professor at the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, a member of the boards of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canada China Business Council and the Canada-India Business Council. He also serves on the advisory board of the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.
Welcome to the Senate, Mr. Haynal. The floor is yours.
George Haynal, Vice-President, Government Affairs, Bombardier Inc.: Honourable senators, I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to appear before you. It is a great honour to be here.
I understand that the committee is engaged in studying the emergence of large new economies and the implications for Canada and Canadian industry, and that you are particularly interested today in discussing Bombardier's experience in Russia and China. Permit me to provide you with a quick overview of our involvement there and then answer any questions that you may have.
I will start with a brief introduction of the company in order to situate our activities and presence in Russia and China. Our corporate head office is in Montreal. We are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, BBD. We have a workforce of 66,700 people worldwide and revenues of over $19 billion as of the beginning of this year, with 96 per cent of those revenues being generated outside of Canada. We are very much a Canadian company but very much a global presence.
BBD had its beginnings, as Senator Mahovlich was reminding me, in the manufacturing of snowmobiles, and its roots in rural Quebec. It is still proudly Canadian, headquartered here as I mentioned, but is now a global presence in two of the world's most competitive manufacturing industries.
The company grew in size and scope at a tremendous rate over a period of 45 years, due both to internally generated momentum and a series of strategic acquisitions around the world.
Its revenues are split roughly half and half between its aerospace and rail manufacturing arms, with roughly $10 billion on each side. Each of those entities in the Bombardier family employs roughly the same number of people. Aerospace employs roughly 32,500 and transportation employs roughly 34,200. Each has a significant backlog of over $24 billion and a manufacturing base that extends around the world.
Its revenues, as I mentioned, come very much from global markets, but as a general indicator, 51 per cent of our revenues are from Europe, 28 per cent from the United States, 11 per cent come from the Asia-Pacific region, and the rest from other parts of world.
Senator Smith: What was the U.S. percentage again?
Mr. Haynal: Twenty-eight per cent. There are not many trains being bought in the U.S. at the moment, but there is a very heavy concentration in aerospace.
I will talk about Russia and China, touching on Russia first. I understand, senators, that you will be visiting Moscow soon and that you will be meeting with my colleague, Sergey Ermolaev, who is the president of our presence in Russia. I will keep my remarks brief and he can give you more depth on the environment and our presence there.
We are present in both rail and aerospace in Russia. While some of the predecessor companies that were eventually absorbed into what is now Bombardier Transportation, BT, were present even at the time of the Soviet Union, our own presence as Bombardier is quite recent and has been, and continues to be, conditioned by the changes in the Russian system and economy.
Our rail-related activities there include a joint venture with Russian Railways that was founded in 1996 to design and manufacture signalling equipment. Some 80 railway stations in Russia have that equipment; that is a product that is amenable to export. Our activities also include a joint venture with Transmashholding roughly from the same date, or a little earlier, which is developing a new generation of locomotives, and a shareholding since 1994 in October Works, a railcar repair facility in St. Petersburg.
In all this activity, we employ about 120 people, so this is a reasonably modest base in rail considering the potential of this sector in Russia. Our ambition is to expand beyond this base, and we are closely monitoring the opportunities there, including for intercity rail and urban transit. The scope for expansion of the Russian rail system is considerable given the country's physical and economic geography.
We believe that Bombardier Transportation is well placed to participate in the future growth of the sector, given a series of factors, particularly our technological capacity in that we are the world leader in pretty much every domain of rail transportation, and given also our strong presence in European rail markets.
I should have mentioned that the head office of Bombardier Transportation is located in Berlin because of the significant concentration of activity in that part of the world.
The rate at which we can participate, however, is conditioned by the policy and investment decisions being made by the various Russian authorities in the rail sector.
I will move on to aerospace in Russia. We have no manufacturing operations in Russia but are supplying civil aircraft to the Russian market. The most successful of our aircraft in Russia and the CIS, Commonwealth of Independent States, is the CRJ200, a 50-seat regional jet of the size that is certified for import into the country. This aircraft is well suited to the needs of Russian operators, and there is no locally produced aircraft to compete with it. Twenty of these aircraft are now flying for various Russian airlines, providing regional service. We expect that the demand for this aircraft will grow vigorously over the coming years, perhaps fivefold.
Russia has also been a significant market for the range of private aircraft produced by Bombardier Aerospace, which is, by value, the world's leading producer of private aircraft. The emergence of large corporations, the relative constraints on commercial aviation infrastructure, and the distances within Russia indicate that there will be sustained demand for this category of aircraft in the future. That is proving to be the case, despite the impact of the global economic crisis now.
It is important to note that Russia is not only an important market for our aerospace group but it is also the home to a vigorous aerospace industry of its own. The Soviet Union had invested heavily in both military and civilian aircraft technology, an investment that, logically enough, the successor states to the USSR wish to sustain and foster.
Of particular note to us in this context is Sukhoi, a leading aircraft manufacturer that is producing a new regional jet which is to enter into service at the end of this year. It is a direct competitor to our larger aircraft, as it is to those made by our present competitor, Embraer. This aircraft is intended not just for the Russian but for the international market. Sukhoi has formed a joint venture with Italy's Alenia Aeronautica to market the aircraft worldwide, and has the strong backing of the Russian government to do so.
While we have sold larger regional aircraft of this size such as the CRJ 900 into the CIS, and there is demand for this proven technology among local airlines, we have experienced great difficulty thus far in having them certified by the Russian authorities. However, we are committed to the long term in Russia. The opportunities are too great for us to be otherwise. To ensure that we are aware of those opportunities, as I mentioned, and are able to build the relationships that are necessary for a long-term presence in a market of this size and complexity that we are talking about, Bombardier maintains a high-level office in Moscow, which represents both the transportation and aerospace group, as I understand it. As I mentioned, you will be meeting with my colleagues there when you are visiting. So much for Russia.
China is another interesting story and a dramatic one. Bombardier is present there, too, in both the civil aircraft and rail sectors. We have been uniquely successful in both and anticipate further successes as our partnerships with Chinese industry continue to grow.
Let me start with Bombardier Transportation, which has been in the news recently. Our transportation group entered China in 1997. We operate there as partners in three joint ventures which together employ 3,000 people. These ventures involve us both in urban transit and intercity rail. The benefits from our presence there flow both ways. We are a source of world-leading technology and cooperation, and we have the opportunity to supply what is the world's most dynamic rail transportation market at a time of full expansion, and an exciting time it is. BT also operates a small number of wholly owned subsidiaries, whimsically called WOFIs in the trade, where we operate on our own. An example was the construction of the People Mover ART System at the Beijing airport that we put into service in time for the Beijing Olympics.
Much of the attention recently in terms of our presence in China has focused on the contract that was awarded to Bombardier Transportation for the Zefiro 380 very-high-speed, VHS, train. The Chinese Ministry of Railway ordered 80 trains for a total of 1,120 cars. This is a landmark success for us. We have taken part in almost every very-high- speed train project everywhere in the world in the last 20 years, with some exceptions. We have built the only high- speed rail network in North America, the Acela. What makes the Zefiro 380 a landmark is that it is technologically the most advanced VHS train there is, and it is also notable as the first order for this technology for us that comes from China. The Ministry of Railway only awarded one contract to a foreign joint venture for VHS. This is a huge recognition not only for the company's global technological leadership but also for its constructive participation in the Chinese rail industry. The "380" means that it travels at 380 kilometres an hour. This is a very high-speed train indeed.
Like any overnight success, this has taken years to build. This order is really only one of the many that we have received. We have a significant rail product presence, with 1,000 metro cars for Shanghai; 40 16-car high-speed-trains running in China; and locomotives, signalling and other products in service in the country. We are well established. This has taken years of concerted engagement, investment and the continuing presence by a top corporate officer heading our Chinese operations on the ground, the direct involvement of the management of the company and a sustained dialogue with Chinese partners.
If I may make an observation, one of the lessons that I would draw from our experience in the Chinese rail market is that, on the global scene, technical excellence is essential but it is not enough. It is essential also to be "familiar" with the markets in which you operate. I put "familiar" in quotation marks because the word has several meanings. I mean we have to understand the market intimately, and reciprocally, to ensure that we ourselves are well understood and, hence, trusted by our customers and partners. Railways last a long time. People rely on them as the sinews of the economy and society, so trust is an elemental component of success in this field. In China, I believe that we are on the right track to building and sustaining that trust.
That, by the way, is a lesson that also holds in aerospace, where we are also present in China. I will conclude on that, if I may. There are 36 CRJs, regional jets, in service in China now. While the number is not great considering the size of the market, the future promises to be extremely dynamic. The air travel market in China is growing exponentially. Investments in infrastructure are being made at a rate that is hard to appreciate outside the country. The level and intensity of economic activity that characterizes China today demands the kind of regional air service that we have come to take for granted in North America.
One reason I should underline for our success and our anticipation of success is not only that we produce aircraft that suit the demands of the market, but also that we are manufacturing partners to the Chinese aircraft industry and are consequently familiar and trusted. We know the market. We understand it, and we ourselves are understood. This has been of considerable importance to our acceptance in this market. We are, I believe, the only manufacturer that actually has manufacturing of aircraft on the ground there. This has been the case for almost 26 years, by the way.
The most significant of these collaborations in manufacturing has been on the Q400 turboprop aircraft. A number of you will have flown to Toronto and back on Porter, which gives excellence service, I am sure you will agree. Their components for this aircraft have been built by our Chinese partners for a long time, starting with doors and then larger components, including pieces of the fuselage.
Most dramatic has been the agreement struck two years ago, if I recall correctly, between Bombardier and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, which is part of AVIC, the state aircraft corporate entity, to be partners in the construction of the CSeries aircraft, which is a game-changing aircraft that will, in some respects, define the future of civil aviation.
SAC, the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, has invested $400 million of risk capital in this venture. It manufactures the central fuselage for this aircraft, which will enter into service in 2013. They have delivered, on schedule and up to specs. The first of these units are already at our Montreal facility where the aircraft will be assembled.
The cooperation there is extremely ambitious and important, partly because it will help make the CSeries, which is assembled in Canada, cost competitive and quality competitive and also because it will make the aircraft familiar to the Chinese market. It will be a very important market for this aircraft, which seats between 110 and 130 people, based on present plans.
We have industrial cooperation on a large scale. On civil aviation, we also work with the Xian Aircraft Company in the manufacture of our Canadair amphibious aircraft, the water bombers. We also have a network of sub-suppliers in China for both aerospace and rail transportation that feed into our global supply chains.
China, in short, is an important partner and market for us and an important part of our global presence. We anticipate that partnership will grow, mature and evolve as time goes on.
Let me conclude with a brief note to say that no experience is typical. Every market and every economy is unique; each has its particular characteristics.
I am happy to talk about our engagements in other large, non-traditional markets. It is hard to call them "emerging," given how far they have emerged. I could speak to those, if that is of interest to you.
Regardless, I think our experience in China and Russia gives you a sense that there are certain key elements of success in these businesses, and we are very much dedicated to ensuring that those key elements are a critical component of how we grow this extraordinary Canadian success.
Senator Smith: Thank you very much for your presentation. When you were giving the breakdown of where revenues come from, I think it was 51 per cent Europe, 28 per cent from the United States and 11 per cent from Asia. Is the remaining 10 per cent from Canada?
Mr. Haynal: No, 4 per cent is from Canada. I am giving you numbers from the beginning of this year, which are the most recent authoritative set of numbers I have.
Senator Smith: Of the 66,900 employees, could you give us a rough breakdown of their geographical locations? Would you know how many would be in Canada?
Mr. Haynal: Roughly 20,000 are in Canada; roughly a third of our workforce is in Canada, if I recall correctly. The numbers tend to change because these are cyclical industries.
Senator Smith: Right. I noted that, certainly in both China and Russia, there were partnerships and joint ventures. India was not quite as clear. Are there also join ventures in India or is it not to the same extent?
Mr. Haynal: In India, we are on our own. We have had a presence in India for some time, which has been heavily technology based. Until two years ago, the biggest thing we did was a major signalling operation — that is, high- technology signalling for the Mumbai suburban rail system. However, we are now manufacturing in India. This makes us unique, I believe, in the Indian economy. We are the only foreign manufacturer there.
Senator Smith: This is the one in Salvi?
Mr. Haynal: This is the one in Salvi, yes. The significant thing to note about this manufacturing plant is that it is to produce railcars for the Delhi metro which is, of itself, one of the great civil works and infrastructure projects of the last decade, anywhere. It is an extraordinarily competitive program. In other words, winning an order for the Delhi metro was truly a high for everyone in the company, if I can be colloquial about it.
Having won it, we are committed to producing the trains in India. That is why we set up this facility as a first production facility in India. Then we will build on that to produce more for the Indian market and for export.
Senator Smith: Right. I think you referred to how the business was roughly 50/50 — in that range — between trains and planes. In the future, which is apt to grow more, or do you think it will remain fairly balanced?
Mr. Haynal: It is my hope they both grow and in a balanced fashion, but comments on this question are beyond my pay grade. The business strategy in each of these companies is extremely complex and sensitive to the peculiarities of the market. The aerospace market tends to be more cyclical and the rail market tends to be more counter-cyclical, as a general rule.
Over time, they have grown to be roughly matched, and I expect that will be the case. Whether at a particular time that will be the case is something else, given the cyclical and counter-cyclical natures of the industry.
Senator Smith: I fly Porter regularly, so I am quite familiar with them. You are their sole supplier. Will you crack Air Canada a bit more? What do you see happening there?
Mr. Haynal: You should get them here and ask them. Air Canada, of course, does fly our aircraft. Jazz flies our aircraft, as well.
Senator Smith: Regarding these jets you have coming out, is Air Canada totally locked into Boeing for the foreseeable future? I know these things are open marketplace competitions, but it would be nice to see that the major airline went with a Canadian company, if we are producing jets in Canada.
Mr. Haynal: You will not find me disagreeing with you, but I cannot speak for Air Canada. I do know that the CSeries aircraft is attracting a tremendous amount of attention around the world. The first purchaser of that aircraft was Lufthansa, which is a member of the Star Alliance, along with Air Canada. The interest in this aircraft, despite the economic slowdown, has been considerable.
Senator Smith: I do not fly WestJet much, but do they use your planes?
Mr. Haynal: No, they do not yet use our planes. They have one class of aircraft they have stuck with so far. We are marketing this aircraft vigorously around the world and it would be very gratifying if you were able to fly them domestically, too. We will leave no stone unturned.
Senator Andreychuk: Thank you for the information you have given us. It seems everywhere I go, Bombardier is there. That is good news for you and for Canada.
To what extent do you rely on the support systems of the government, if I can phrase it that way — the trade offices and the facilities? Are they crucial to your operations overseas, particularly in Russia and China, or do you rely on your own resources?
In other words, I want to know whether the Canadian government is doing the things we need to do to support business and investment there.
Mr. Haynal: The answer is, yes, on all those scores, but I can give a bit more nuance. We have manufacturing, engineering and services facilities in 29 countries. We are domestic companies in many of these countries. As I indicated, we are, for these purposes, very much part of the Chinese environment.
You cannot do that unless you do it on your own merits, if I can put it that way. We rely heavily on being excellent and knowing our way around.
It is also an obvious fact that everyone knows Bombardier is a Canadian company. Canadians are proud when they see a Bombardier product outside the country. I know I got a big kick out of it when I served abroad. I am sure senators who may have served abroad have felt the same. It is definitely an asset to be a Canadian, pretty much everywhere in the world. We are very proud of that identity. It is not our only identity, however.
In terms of our cooperation with the government, we rely heavily on the Canadian Foreign Service, which has been an unfailing partner to the company, as it is to other Canadian exporters. We rely on the embassies for high-level official contact when they are required. Obviously, the presence of political leaders in countries where political leaders and business leaders are in close partnership has also been very important to us.
My answer is, yes, we do rely on the Canadian system; yes, we do benefit from it; and, yes, we hope for that to continue and to intensify in the future.
However, it is not what makes us successful. If we were not good, we would not survive. It is a dog-eat-dog business on both sides of the shop. No one does anyone any favours.
Senator Andreychuk: This committee will be travelling soon to Russia, and I am interested in that part of your operations. There were many industrial complexes within the Soviet system that collapsed. We hear stories of technologies that they had that needed updating, facilities that are available, and some support systems when they privatized, but they are either dormant, in some cases needing rehabilitation, or certainly outdated.
When you went in on transportation issues, did you have the benefit of any of their technologies, or was it the reverse, that you went in with your technologies?
Mr. Haynal: It is fair to say that we have taken technology in but we have also benefited from some of the technological advances. It is a very sophisticated engineering culture in Russia. It is in aerospace, and we have not benefited there, but on the rail side in these joint ventures we have been able to benefit from an exchange of flows of technology.
I am not sure I have more detail to offer you on that. I would suggest that you ask others to elaborate.
May I abuse your time for a moment to complement my previous answer? One extremely important partnership with the Canadian government is in the area of trade policy. I do not want to neglect mentioning that. We compete vigorously around the world. Sometimes, when you compete you are also competing not only with your competitor but with your competitors' governments. This can result in practices that are uncompetitive. A vigorous Canadian government defence of fair practices and level playing fields has been an important asset as we expand our presence around the world. I should have thought of that in answering your question spontaneously but it is an important thing to remember.
Senator Andreychuk: With the WTO, World Trade Organization, China is in but Russia is not in yet. What difference does that make to your operations?
Mr. Haynal: It could make a difference in terms of the disciplines each of these countries is prepared to accept. I am not sure where the negotiations are with Russia. I believe they are close to completion. We will certainly welcome that. WTO membership and the spread of what are universal trade rules are very important in respect of what I just said earlier, about a level playing field globally. These are very difficult markets. Global markets are difficult enough without there being bumps, and to the degree that the rules can be levelled, everyone will benefit, including our competitors.
Senator Wallin: Thank you, former consul general. It is good to see you. I have a general question. We have heard from several witnesses in different areas who do things to facilitate business in Russia and China. I guess, because of your longevity in both places, you do not have similar issues that many people have trying to set up shop right at this particular moment.
Because the committee will go to both places, perhaps you could indicate what is the biggest problem Bombardier faces in either or in both China and Russia in terms of doing business.
Mr. Haynal: Let me start with China where I would say that, if we had problems, we have been able to manage them so far. However, it is not a matter of just walking in and hoping everything will be fine. If I can make that observation, without directly answering your question, it is a constant work-in-progress. You have to be present. You have to be engaged and understand the rules and regulations, the changes in regulation, especially in an economy that is changing as fast as the Chinese economy. It is modernizing at a vertiginous rate. That is a bad way of putting it. It is a movie, not a photograph. You cannot walk in and think everything will be fine because you are there.
It is a similar case in Russia. The legal system is evolving at a different pace. The market is structured in a different way. If there is a challenge there, and it is the one I think we all face, it is just managing the complexity of the evolution of the system.
That is why we are there for the long term. We are determined to understand and be understood.
That really is the only solution. It is not possible to be exporters only any more, if you are going to succeed in these large, very competitive, very complicated and mutating markets.
Senator Wallin: You described both being complex. China seems a little more transparent in terms of its system, even its bureaucracy, although the rules have been complicated for a long time.
We heard yesterday from a Russian political expert who is engaged in the marketing of the new regime, and I mean business, politics and all these things in the Soviet Union.
It does seem more difficult there still, in terms of navigating that system, whether it is a level of corruption or lack of transparency. I know you are on the ground and you have been there and been through many changes, obviously, in 50 years, in each of those places. Is it working? Is it effective, or is it a constant challenge and it works by sheer fact that you have something they need at the end of the day? Is there one thing that you see or a series of things that we could be looking at in terms of even instruction to our own government agencies, et cetera, to work on?
Mr. Haynal: Constant engagement to ensure a level playing field, as I mentioned, is a very important function of governance today in the global economy. In terms of our presence in Russia and our challenges there, and in other markets, it is extremely important to understand the environment you are working with and adapt to it, work with it where you can, and if you cannot, not.
However, we have our own rules and regulations and we live by those wherever we are.
Senator Jaffer: I was interested in what Senator Smith was asking you about India. You said you were not in a joint venture in India. If I understood you, you have been in India for some time. Can you elaborate on how long? You did say you were in Mumbai but what parts of India? Because English is also a language spoken there, perhaps it is easier. I would like to hear more from you about the differences of working and what you are doing in India.
Mr. Haynal: We have been in India, I think, for 35 years, in one guise or another.
The market in India liberalized at a different pace than it did in China, so the possibilities were of a historically different kind at different times.
There has been an extraordinary growth and dynamism in the Indian economy in the last 15 years or so. We have tried to be there from the beginning. The limits on our presence were prescribed by the market, both on the supply and demand side. That has evolved quite radically in recent times.
If I am not mistaken, our first presence was in cooperation with Indian Railways in transfer of technology on locomotives. We supplied freight locomotives from outside the country when the technology was not available in India at the time.
We have come a long way from that. As I mentioned in response to Senator Smith, we are also engaged in the design and manufacturing of signalling systems, which is a high-tech activity.
Our presence in India is extensive. For example, we have an engineering centre in Hyderabad that works for global markets. Three hundred and fifty engineers work at this facility for us. We have a software development centre in Vadodara that employs about 750 currently. Our base of operations in India is also in Vadodara. In total, we have about 1,200 people.
All this has happened from a reasonably small base in a reasonably short amount of time. Part of this is driven by investment in urban transit and intercity rail that has grown dramatically in recent years. It is set to grow even more.
We are at the dawn of an exciting era in India. We are partnering with major corporations and bidding for contracts that are being awarded to consortia. Watch this space, senator, because our ambitions are as dramatic there as anywhere else in the world. As you say, the possibilities are enormous. Our past was not as dramatic, perhaps, as it was elsewhere or as intense until recently.
Senator Jaffer: India is a Commonwealth country and we probably had closer ties to it in the past, though not necessarily now. You said you work in joint ventures in India as in China and Russia.
Can you describe the different climates of working in India than in Russia or China? Obviously, they are different. Has it been easier in India because it is a Commonwealth country?
Mr. Haynal: They are different markets. It is hard to compare apples and oranges in that sense. A shared legal tradition and a shared common language are extremely helpful. Historic associations between Canada and India are still very real at the people level. Affinities are very strong, so I find being Canadian in India is a signal advantage.
However, as a company in India, we are an Indian company. We want to be an Indian company. We want to be able to employ the considerable talent available in that country. We want to be able to supply a quickly growing market.
The market is of two kinds. The intercity market is controlled by Indian Railways and is very distinct. The urban transit markets are quite diffuse. Each city has its own requirements, installed base and preferences for technology. In each case, we have to act as the local company we are. We work in partnership with those who are competing for other elements of those urban transit projects.
I do not know what more to say. I do not want to dress it up, but that is where we are. It is an exciting time.
Senator Mahovlich: You spoke of a train. Is it 380 miles per hour?
Mr. Haynal: Kilometres per hour.
Senator Mahovlich: What two major cities would this train access in China?
Mr. Haynal: I do not know where it will be used. A whole network of cities is being connected by high-speed rail in China. I could not tell you where these will be deployed. I could try to find out or if you are going to Beijing, my colleagues there will be able to give you more information.
Senator Mahovlich: How fast is the fast train from Paris to Lyon?
Mr. Haynal: My guess is around 350 kilometres per hour. I am not a technological expert. We are talking about very-high-speed. This will be in that category. It will be as fast as anything now on rail.
Senator Mahovlich: Is Canada also thinking along those lines for the Quebec City to Windsor corridor for the future?
Mr. Haynal: I understand a study of that possibility has been commissioned by the Quebec, Ontario and federal governments. It will be submitted to them in the next year.
Senator Mahovlich: It sounds like I could get to Toronto in an hour and a half or so.
The Acting Chair: Honourable senators, any other questions?
Mr. Haynal, thank you for your interesting presentation. We will be meeting with your people as you mentioned before. Some of us going on the trip will meet with your colleagues in Moscow. If we can be of any help, always count on us.
Mr. Haynal: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
(The committee adjourned.)