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Hey, it's Shane Parrish, welcome to a new episode of the Knowledge Project, where we deconstruct actionable strategies that you can use to make better decisions, learn new things and live a better life. This time around, we have the honorable Mark Garnier, who is the minister of transport for the Canadian government. Mark's been an elected member of parliament since 2008 and previously served as the critic for industry, science and technology, as well as foreign affairs. He's been the House leader in the House of Commons and he was also the first Canadian to fly in space.
Now, how cool is that? But if a brief heads up, this interview is recorded live in Montreal, Canada. The audio is going to be a little bit different than what you're used to. And there's bits of French here and there. But don't worry, Mark brings in engineer's mindset to government decisions. And I really enjoyed the conversation. I think you will, too. Without further ado, here's Mark.
Before I get started, here's a quick word from our sponsor, our podcast sponsor is the Intelligent Fanatic's Project. Intelligent fanatics are the world's greatest boatbuilders. They create high performing organizations that dominate their market or industry for decades. There are hundreds of intelligent fanatics, stories and businesses to learn from. Please visit intelligent fanatics Starcom to learn more. Mark, I'm so excited to have the pleasure of interviewing you today. You've had such an esteemed public service career. It's a rare honor to be here with you today.
So thank you. Q I want to start with something incredibly simple, but something that most of us don't know, which is how do you spend your days? I'm pretty busy these days as transport minister, but I have to say that I've always had the pleasure of doing a number of jobs where I have truly enjoyed what I was doing. In the very kind introduction, they mentioned that I was an astronaut, that I was now a politician. But before all of that, I was in the Navy and the Navy was my first love, in fact.
And when I was 12 years old, I had the chance to cross the ocean in a in an ocean liner. And in fact, I left here from Montreal. It was called the Empress of Britain, and it went over to to Liverpool in England. And I was 12 years old. I fell in love with the ocean and I joined the Navy. So, yes, I have my Datafolha. They have all been, I think, in service of my country.
And that has given me a great deal of satisfaction. Transport now is my main preoccupation, and that's a job that everybody here, I'm sure has an opinion on, whether they're talking about airplanes, whether they're talking about railways, cars, trucks. Everybody has strong opinions, in fact, about transport. It's a very big file. It's an important file for a big country like Canada. And that keeps me very busy from morning to night. But I have to say, again, I truly enjoy doing it.
It's it's it's a job that to me I'm passionate about. And I've been lucky to be passionate about everything I've done in my life. What attracted you to the Navy specifically? What was that, your passion? Well, I was out on the ocean, the crossing on my way to to England. My father had been posted there and the immensity of the ocean, which was something that I had never seen and which I saw as we crossed, we had some bad weather.
So I saw an ocean that was that was very worktop and tempestuous. And it was rough. I saw beautiful, calm waters with beautiful sunsets. And that just sort of grabbed me and I said, this is what I want to do. I never really wanted to do a job where I would be at a desk all day long. I wanted there to be. Yes, that component, which is important, but also the physical component. I wanted to be doing other things as well as part of my job seems to perhaps challenge me physically.
And the Navy seems to be that kind of a profession. Was the immensity of space full duty to that as well, is that something different is very similar in many, many ways. It is a it's it's a vast frontier. It is one where you rely on your fellow crew members for your survival. When you're in a ship, when you're out there, it's just you. And although we have modern technology today, things can sometimes go wrong and you are depending on the rest of the crew in a hostile environment, sometimes hostile environment.
And it's very similar to what you do in space. In fact, I think it's we call we we call spacecraft spaceships. And and it is very much that kind of an experience of travel going on to the new frontier. And the reason that I decided that I wanted to become an astronaut was because I like adventure. The Navy had given me a sense of adventure. I thought this would be a new venture. Did you realize the enormity of that role for Canadians in terms of pulling us into excitement about science and technology at the time?
Or is that something you came to recognize and appreciate after? I think I came to recognize that afterwards. It's not something that dawned on me right away. I was certainly aware of the fact that this was a new era for Canada to be involved with. We had a space program most Canadians did not know very much about. It did involve satellites and in fact, it's quite a distinguished. Canada was the third country in space. A lot of people don't know, but bringing a human dimension to it with astronauts and the reason that we were invited to become astronauts and to fly on the space shuttle is because.
We have designed the robotic arm that is on the space shuttle and in fact, part of it was designed here in Montreal and the United States. And I want to thank us. And they said, look, you did such a great job with the design of the Canadarm. It works very, very well. We'd like to fly a couple of Canadians. And so the government of Canada said it sounds like a good idea. And they put an ad in the paper and lots of people to fly.
And I saw it and I said to myself, there's no way I'm going to pass up this opportunity to apply. I'm sure I won't be chosen. But I'm I don't want to kick myself later and say I should have tried. And so I sent in my name and and my life changed. What was the drive that inspired you to run for office? Well, that's another matter. Running for office is I used to say when I was an astronaut, people like me.
But when you enter the political arena, it's a totally different arena and people tell you what they think. I happened to be a liberal and not everybody's liberal. And some people feel and they're quite right, they're entitled to tell you that they don't agree with you. They don't agree with your party. They don't agree with you on your views. And that is part of politics. And so you have to you have to make a serious decision, because the big change in my life, when I went from being a naval officer, I was an engineer to becoming an astronaut.
The big change is that I went from being a private person to being a public person. So I knew then that when I walked down the street to go to I don't own a Canadian tire to buy some some tools that people might recognize me, that they might want to talk to me. So, you know, on a Saturday morning when previously nobody would know who I was and or career, so suddenly I realized that there was a big change in my life because I was now a public person.
And, you know, I'm no different since I became an astronaut from before I became an astronaut. I still slip on the ice, just like everybody does. Once in a while. People say, hey, you're an astronaut. You fall on the ice. Well, yes. And and so you have to get used to being a public person. But the big difference between becoming a politician from being an astronaut is, yes, you're public and both.
But in one case, people generally like you as an astronaut because you are in a profession that is of interest to people. It's not controversial, but when you go into politics, you have to accept the fact that you are going to do something where not everybody is going to agree with everything you do. And so that's a big decision. And the reason that I did go into politics is because I'm an engineer by background or not, very many technical people in the House of Commons of our country.
And I thought I could bring a dimension that is perhaps missing. And I'm delighted that I made that decision. The first time I ran, I lost, which is it's not easy to lose, but I stuck with it. And now I've been at it for four, eight years. I want to go into a little bit more of a about of experience as an MP. But first, what does it mean to be Liberal in twenty seventeen? And I want to contextualize that where it seems to me that the demographic in Canada, anecdotally, from my point of view, is changing.
Most people tend, I would say, which is a mixture of kind of red and blue that might be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. And just with that backdrop, can you speak to me about what it means to be a liberal in twenty? Seventeen. Yes. And liberals, it's we're not narrowly defined. There is quite a speech. You said purple. There are blue liberals. In other words, there, if you like, more traditional and conservative fiscally.
But all liberals do have that social side to them. So they're either going to be a little bit of a left of center or in the middle or a little bit right of center. So we have always been a party that oscillates about the centre. I think more importantly today, and I think our prime minister has articulated it, being a liberal here in Canada is wanting to be open on the world at a time when we see protectionism coming in.
We've seen some some evidence of that in the world where where people talk about terms like populism and nativism coming into the politics of governments in certain countries. We in Canada want to remain open to the world as far as trade is concerned, as far as bringing immigrants into our country. So not no change from that point of view at a time when many other countries are. So I think that to me, more than anything means being a liberal, can we dive into your experience?
When you first became an MP, you were a critic and now you're a minister and you've seen both sides of this. Can you walk us through some of the nuances and differences that we wouldn't see from the other side between running and operating government in the sense and versus critiquing both have an important role. I was I was on the opposition in the opposition for seven years. I had lots of time to learn how to be in the opposition. And of course, the opposition is trying to hold the government on their feet to the fire, hold them to the promises that they made and to make sure that they are doing what is right for Canada.
Of course, opposition parties, whether during the time that I was in opposition, it was a conservative government. So we in opposition were either Liberals or NDP or Green or bloc. And we each tried to hold the government accountable so that they would hopefully do things in accordance with the values of our party. But ultimately, it is only when you are in government that you get to make the decisions and the decisions. Now, I know that because I've been a minister for a year in the government of Canada and I've had to make decisions.
I've proposed bills in parliament that have an influence and an effect on you and others, and that is what comes with being in the government. You are accountable for what you do in a way that you are not when you're in opposition. So we make decisions and we must live with the consequences. And if Canadians decide three years from now that we didn't do a good job, they have the right to elect somebody else. So that's the big difference between being in opposition and being in government.
In government, you actually make the decisions that that shape for better, for worse, the future of our country. And I'm delighted after seven years in opposition where I think I learned my craft because you can't walk into the House of Commons on day one and know how to be an MP, it does take a while to learn how to be one. And but now I have to say, after seven years, it's a pleasure to be in government.
Do you think your role as a critic makes you a better minister? I think it does. I would say that I was created for science and technology, for industry and foreign affairs at one time through short time natural resources. So I had to learn about those things in order to be able to ask intelligent questions, make intelligent speeches and and and and find whether or not there was reason to criticise the government. So, yes, it is a valuable experience and being a critic and because you are the person who is officially supposed to take care of a particular fire.
And so, yes, I've enjoyed being a critic transport I was never a critic for. That's something I had to basically learn from scratch. But, you know, I have to say, I love the job of being transport minister. It suits me perfectly. Ministers have an incredibly difficult job. How do you define success for yourself in that particular role? Not in the context of the broader government, but Day-To-Day. How do you know that you're you're doing exceptional versus kind of just doing good?
I think you get a sense of that from everything that's around you. The media, of course, in addition to the opposition, will criticise you if they think that you're doing a bad job or the bad job may be legislation that you're bringing forward or how you handle a particular event. And every single day of the week, there will be a particular issue that that will come up. I mean, that's just the nature of our government are a huge number of issues related to transport.
And you get a sense out there in the public whether people are with you and the things that you're doing a reasonable job. And that doesn't mean everybody is going to agree with you. But if most people feel that you're doing your job, you get a sense of whether they believe that you're a competent minister. It's just hard to define. But but it is something that that you get a sense of because you're going to read things where people will criticise you or tell you to your face and you're going to read things where people tell you that you've made the right decision and you've got to interpret all of that and you've got to be on.
To yourself, you can't just choose to believe that the good stuff. You've got to also remember that you've got to take everybody's opinion into account, but you get a sense of whether you're doing it. And, of course, ultimately, when elections come around, you find out in a very brutal way whether people support you or not. How are we supposed to judge as citizens the role of the minister? Well, based on what we do, for example, we let let me give you an example.
I have come out recently with a what's called a vision for transport for the next 15 years. It's called transportation 20, 30. And in there, I say we're going to do the following things as we move into the future. And there are a whole bunch of elements to give you an example. I've said that we will come up with what people often call a bill of rights for air travelers. We call it a rights regime. And this is a regime by which if you are kicked off a flight because they've overbooked and this has happened to any of you, I think a few of human cloning myself, where you've lost probably you're a minister thing for or your baggage has been lost or damaged or you've sat on the tarmac for four hours and then the plane flight has been canceled.
We all have I think if we travel experience frustrations and we said we're going to put in place a set of measures of uniform that will apply to all airlines. That will be, in a sense, a clear indication to the airlines that if you do not fulfill certain obligations to the passengers to whom you sold tickets, there will be consequences. So that's something now people may argue with the details of what eventually comes out. We have to put this together.
Some people may like it. Some people may not like it. I gave you an example where I think most people would like it, but there are other things that can be sometimes more controversial. So that's just one example. And there's a host of them. And so you'll get positive feedback from one person on one thing, but they'll really not like something else. Not everybody's going to agree with you on everything you do. And that's that's part of the job.
Speaking of that, you're surrounded by people who have different different incentives, and some of those incentives don't align with you, and those people are passing you information that you need to make decisions on. How do you go about ascertaining the validity of the information you're making the decisions on and testing it? It's been through so many filters and so many people with so many different political agendas. And that's a very challenging thing. I pride myself as an engineer.
That's my that's my education. That's my background in being very rigorous in doing my research. Because if I'm going to get in front of a bunch of people and say this is what happened or this is based on on on my knowledge, this is what we're going to do and I'm wrong. It's very embarrassing. And it's it's it's something that I really don't want happening. So to me, there is a very rigorous process when you get all these inputs from the people that you work with.
There's a very rigorous process of making sure that the information that you have received is correct and that you're comfortable with that information. So I'm a person who is driven by logic by a lot of people call me Mr. Spock sometimes because I really do believe that a lot of decisions in the field of transport need to be based on rigorous scientific evidence, logic. And that's how I approach it. And I think that helps me. I think my whole background in engineering is, you know, if if there are any engineers here, once you become a professional engineer, you have a seal and you certify your work.
And if you're wrong, it can have serious consequences if you build bridges or houses or or electrical circuits and you don't do it properly. There are serious consequences. So it's it's an ethical thing in terms of doing your homework properly. And I try to bring that to politics. Do you think that that should apply to politics as well? Do you think that there should be not only consequences whereby you can lose your job, but if you're an engineer and you sign off on something and there's liability as well?
Do you think that that transfers over well to a politician who whose negligence? Certainly as an engineer, if you if you certify something and there's a flaw in it, it can lead to some very serious consequences. As a politician, typically your judgment comes at election time or it can come within the cycle of of government. For example, if my prime minister thinks that I'm not doing a good job, he can remove me from that and he can send me to the backbenches or if it's a really serious thing.
And here we're getting into things that are are an ethical issues. You can even there is a process by which you can be removed from what we call the caucus, which is you're removed from the liberal caucus. You can no longer be a Liberal MP, you become an independent. So there are different measures that of accountability that you're subjected to. Can we go for a second? I want to talk about the self-driving car. Yes. Which is top of mind for everybody.
How do you see this playing out over the next 10 or up to 20, 30 in line with your vision? It's coming at us. There's no question, and I would like Canada to be not just a follower. This is really more than anything. It's it's a mighty challenge. And I think that Canada has a huge amount of talent to bring to it. But we don't want to be playing catch up and following everybody else. So I think there's a chance for Canada to lead in this country with the development of automated vehicles in leading in terms of intelligent transportation systems in in developing the optimum V and VI communications, in helping to develop the software that will help us to minimize congestion in our cities.
There's a huge amount to Canada that can do and perhaps also take on a challenge which is particular to countries like Canada that get covered with snow and ice, which can be quite different from driving on a nice Californian road. So there are some things that Canada can do at the Transportation and the Transport Canada. We have a facility up in. Just north of Montreal the other day, I was in a convoy of three 18 wheelers and they were all going in eighty five kilometers, perfectly spaced from each other.
The second and the third were just queuing up the first the first truck and. The second of the third off, the second, the only thing the driver was doing was steering because it banked courses, but the rest is all being controlled. Well, that's an area of development connected vehicles. It's on a test track. But these kinds of things are things that we can do here in Canada, as well as what is happening in our universities and and the initiatives that the provinces are taking as well.
I think we can make a contribution, to be perfectly honest with you, as Transport Canada for the regulator. We're playing catch up with the technology. It's evolving so quickly that we're trying to put in place. We have to put regulations in place for for all transportation modes. And we are trying to intelligently stay ahead of the curve. And we're also trying intelligently not to put too many obstacles in the way, regulate regulatory obstacles in the way of the innovators so that they can develop these technologies.
So we want to help to be part of it. And of course, the other aspect is that I work very closely with my counterpart in the United States who is the secretary of transport. Of course, it's a new one now. Her name is Elaine Chao, and I will be working very closely with her to make sure that we harmonize our regulations because obviously a lot of Canadians cross the border every day. So those are the things that that are important and is coming at us faster than I think anybody thinks.
I want to talk about these three specific kind of second order impacts and that one. How do you perceive that self-driving cars will affect our investment in infrastructure such as roads? Will it change the size of the roads that we build? Because now we can put cars closer together with fewer accidents? And how does that play out? I think there is still a lot of unknowns. Are we going to end up having less cars on the road to begin with?
That is a question that some people say, yes, we will have less cars, but other people say we're going to have just as many cars, I think. And it's it's probably too early to know exactly how it's going to to evolve in terms of infrastructure. We need certainly the smart, intelligent infrastructure that's going to provide all the necessary information to the vehicles to help them to to optimally get for me to be the most intelligent and and and cost effective way, the least damaging to the environment.
Those things are all part of it. But in terms of whether we end up having less roads, we're also at the same time trying to push for more public transit because, you know, in our country. So we could very well end up, I think, in the long run, perhaps over a long period of time, redeveloping our cities according to different criteria. We all know that our cities have all been built around cars, and that's a truism.
And as a result of that, we've paid some important prices with respect to that congestion, pollution, those kinds of things. And I think a lot of thinking is that we should try to make sure that we don't make those new mistakes as we as we design new cities, we're stuck with the ones we have at the moment. But we can, I think, intelligently claim universities in the future with the technology that is coming back. And what what do you think will happen?
Like, it strikes me that truck drivers is probably one of the number one professions in Canada based on the number, the sheer number of people doing. It seems possible or even reasonable that within five to 10 years, all of those people could be out of jobs. Yes, and they're worried about it, too. You're quite right. There are a lot of taxi drivers. Another example. And so there are professions that that could, as a result of automated vehicles and and and intelligent transportation systems, lose their jobs.
And that's part of the evolution of of society. And the same applies in the manufacturing sector where robotics is increasingly replacing the traditional manual labor that's involved there. So there are going to be big changes. And and I think, again, there our education system is playing catch up as well. I don't think that I don't think that we're riding the wave at the moment. I think we're. Play catch up there, because I think it's going to happen quickly and the third kind of second order impact that I want to talk about is if the if the cars become primarily based on software and they can interact with each other, what role does cybersecurity play in that and what role does the government play for Canadians in that space?
Well, cyber security is very important because obviously we do not want to have a situation where there are. There's a capacity from an acting point of view to influence how a car is driving itself, if it's based on this on this system of Division VI and and it's working harmoniously and you disrupt that intentionally, then you can lead to some some pretty catastrophic results, especially if cars are here on a highway and they're all driving close to each other. So cyber security is part of the challenge that's involved there.
And then there are interesting questions, such as if an accident does occur, whose fault is it and how does one purchase insurance? How good? How will insurance companies price the insurance for automated vehicles? There are lots of new issues that have to be dealt with. Two questions just before we go to the audience questions here. One question that came up a lot, just as we were here before, is why don't we have a high speed rail between Montrail and Trotman stopping in place?
So via rail came forward with a proposal about a year ago to the government of Canada. And it's called high frequency rail, not high speed. High frequency and high frequency means that instead of six trains a day between Montreal and Ottawa, there could be 12. That in itself offering people more hours of of choice in terms of taking the train versus their car can make a difference. I take the train, by the way, between Montreal and travel to Montreal in Ottawa every week, both in both directions.
But there is also another part to it, and that is converting to dedicated rail because via rail only owns three percent of this track. It rents the rest from CNN C.p. It has to stop when there's a freight train that goes by. If you've taken the train, you've probably heard the message. Ladies and gentlemen, we're stopping. This is a normal procedure to let the freight go by. So the fact of having dedicated rail will allow a faster train, not high speed, but instead of 110 kilometres an hour, it can go at 170 kilometres an hour on its own, dedicated to shorten the time.
And it will offer people more choices. And they proposed this to the federal government initially in the Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto corridor, which is a busy corridor. And we are studying this at the moment. In fact, we put three million dollars in the budget to study it. So the things that we're looking at is, is their business solid when they project how many passengers will leave their cars behind and take the train? Are those based on solid, if you like, analysis?
So those are things that we're looking at. So that is something that could happen. We're in the middle of looking at it and we're also looking at Quebec to Montreal and Toronto to Windsor. Although the Ontario government is also, you should know, looking at a high speed train proposal between Windsor and Toronto. That's a provincial initiative underway at the moment. And last question before we go to the audience for questions. What is something that you believe to be true, that most of your ministers would disagree with you or what is.
Well, that we actually did go to the moon. I told my colleagues, my colleagues, believe me, when I tell the people like they're just great. I know where I have a difference of opinion. I'd have to give it some thought. But but as with any healthy group of people with different ideas, we don't all see everything the same way. And since this is going to be registered a little bit, has to tell you something that I believe.
And of course, I know I'm right and I'm not sorry for skirting your question there. No problem. OK, we can take questions from the audience. Great questions. I feel like they grew up knowing that is safety related issue. Airplanes have to provide a certain legro elbowroom spacing for safety reasons in case you have to evacuate the airplane quickly. And that is a Transport Canada requirement. Now we establish minimums. If an airplane uses those minimums versus another airline that gives you more room, you're going to want to go with the other one if it gives you more room.
So they are taking a chance if they really stick together like sardines. I'm losing business. But the only driver there is that there is a minimum with respect to safety, but the rest is up to the airlines. Yes. And this is what you'll see this morning. I see you hear those beeps is in my life. Well, I guess when you to say this about these young people these days, the police and the Army National Guard, including my money on the the night is about to take on that.
I mean, of course, you sit down and say, listen, this is the only issue in this election cycle. So I assume the still from the state and ask you if you have no Yugoslavia could be isolated no matter what it was about. This is that you guys want to be you know, Empedocles are not bad at all for the Asian kids. But, you know, is funding the issue at all in full control of the Senate?
ALPERSTEIN Because this White House, of course, is less of a next set of Internet society, is hard to explain. What are your thoughts on that equation? You fully assured me that no power of our fellow citizens is out of my life from the mud that I spoke, Chris. So tremendous duty and not showing up. I accept it a little. Children eat nothing but enough. Can I say something on that street, on the excessive at all?
Or if we develop these babies this week, where does something leave? Something good may come to give us your new divorce health committee is supersensitive is all you want, but maybe I should ask you to expand my self out of that. He could choose to do that should triggered departure so that, you know, his own team is, of course, for President Clinton. I want to be associated with the the world that we are getting a new way of thinking about these things.
And although money transfer, well, it is a medium on Internet organizing almost everything in our life. He's talking also about the Obama ization over the last four days. But this all of you think that you're going to write some of that. We already know everything you get and that's what we're go with. It might go tomorrow in a lot of countries in Europe and so on. And in Canada, where we have a party and I think you can relate to be different from Europe, which is the formulation across the area.
You know, I know there was a. Mom, I am not making a important here. This is what I wasn't good enough to be here in different parts of the country that we are going to. Many of you would think that most of them would move up from almost all the shadows found pleasure to the. OK. And on your first question, I have to admit, I'm not an expert on Jeremy Rifkin and I've heard the name. So if I if I if I sounded like I was channeling him, it was a coincidence.
I think he is very concentrated. I think that every Europe has its own solutions based on its geography and its densities. I think we will probably have some similarities, but I think we'll probably be more like the United States because we do interact with them a huge amount and and we have mutual reasons to harmonize in terms of how we develop certain things because we freely flow across each other's borders. In fact, I, I am not very many people know about it, but there is a specific body that focuses on regulatory harmonization between the two countries.
Imagine that, you know, we do over two billion dollars daily in trade with the United States and that's money somewhere. And I mean, it's a big it's a big deal. So trains and trucks cross each other's borders and ships go into the many states that are in on the Great Lakes. If we arrive at the border and there was a different set of regulations for safety and other factors, as soon as you cross that border, it would be untenable.
It would be ridiculous. So we and our airplanes carry passengers. So it's in our interest to take similar approaches. So I think we're going to probably end up at a similar job interviews as well. So I think that's kind of the approach. By the way, the Intelligent Transportation System World Forum is happening here in Montreal this September, and it's done by it's America and it's Canada. So that doesn't this Monday. No, no. There's no question to me is that it is necessary to to transport public these infrastructure societies.
The notion that we have to invest some capital at the media. I mean, the news generally, these questions on any given day have to come down to the U.S. that might be asked in this capacity or something might happen. If you eat out trichomes, you must be nice to have you on the DNA analysis. And the only point that we got, so far as I'm concerned, my Marciani obsessive globe, not internationally, not to attend to start Lafarge's duty, but come and see Stephanie very quickly.
Give up or come in the did like yesterday. But we see. I can't stand by that that Irishman letting blues shows us is beatboxes. See you tomorrow as well as some sort of push and get back. But I still have to see the example that populate your mark actually may quiet down in months or so. You're born clia ke. Opens a window of opportunity to sit down and, you know, times are important distended of what dancing shows us, but it is extremely important of these shows.
You have a come out and say consistently poorly those questions are going to ask everybody just to keep their questions to one and keep it short, please. I'll try to make sure that my question about the of the and the kinds of self driving around campus is falling as the next generation of transport is starting to show itself. For example, I believe space travel, even flying cars, which seems almost inconceivable. What can do to try and sort of the heart of innovation once again, capture leadership in transportation is similar to the arguments about.
Right. So the innovation part of it is my colleague, Andy Baines. It's the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. That's his mandate innovation. And so how is it done? It's by helping to fund promising technologies that will or software development that will help us to get there so that we as a country can be competitive, that we can lead and we can. For example, in the air space world, we we are a leader in that area in a large number of different specific areas.
Technically, it's an area where it's a success story. We'd like to be a success story. We have the potential to be a success story in modern transportation system, whether it's automated cars or connected vehicles or another area that is also a new disruptive technology, waves or drones. Canada has the potential to be a leader from a transport point of view. My job is on the regulatory side of things and the testing side of things. We have 30 now, a test facility in Alberta, you know, in a small town where you can test your drone technology.
So we are providing infrastructure for testing purposes. That's part of it. You know, if somebody was a great idea, they were developing a drone in their garage needs to test it. We can provide the facility for that. And then and the funding, if it's a promising idea, may come from from innovation, science and economic development. So those two ministries together are key and working together to create the right conditions and and support for that kind of technology to be developed.
There is tremendous potential in this country. We have a very talented workforce and we have great, well-educated people who have great ideas. That's never a problem. Great ideas. It's it's successfully taking them through to to market. Absolutely. We should offer Elon Musk personally facility to take them. Yeah, no, I love to go on that. I meant that I met the guy once and and and we talked about rockets at the time, but now he's on so many other things.
You're welcome. But we want to know this. Mr de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de Blasio. As best we can hope that they will come out. There will be some people in my home. We still see those small businesses. What do you see? The president's legacy. But this has got to be kidding me. But I think I know that for sure.
Sure. Well, indeed. De de de de de de de de tosspot. Come back to back. The original did so well known as the system could see some functioning folks in the U.S. should do it for you. This is just another family to congratulate you when you read the Secretary of Homeland, Mosley. So do you bear cause for concern about security guards and if they do not, when you are kind of where you stand is security care?
Secretary Shinseki is just going to pass on to her shortly. But it's possible he she says he said stay on your local hardware. She says she did not allow her request to stay in the company that will stand after the taskbar, the system and the transport public to sustainable security. It's easy to be an and the time it's easier for someone near you that is required. You should seek Basken. And that is unacceptable. To live in a society at own course demanded to be able to use the whole Diaby.
Neches says that there will be less and will put on a bit of that up or better, so they would be less quick to point fingers. You nuthatches points of indecision decisions has to make see security that equally it can be purchased by with no shooting has simply never shown to their society if we anticipated dynamic development with social implications. Let's go back a long way to getting that information and we'll go. OK, so one of the things that was announced in the budget that actually was announced in the economic statement of Minister Bill Marmion was our finance minister on the 1st of November, is an investment in what's called trade and transportation corridors.
And it's a 10 billion dollar. It's separate from everything else I've said so far. And that's undermind going to be under my responsibility. It's 10 billion dollars over 11 years and it's to make our trade corridors more efficient. Canada is a trading nation. We transport hundreds of millions of tons of products across the country to our ports or we go across the border into the United States on trains and trucks. We are a trading nation. If I talk about CNN, Sepi, the transport about two hundred and eighty million dollars worth of goods per year, how will we transport our goods to the Port of Vancouver, which handles 140 million tons a year and ships out to the rest of the world, has a direct effect on our economic vitality?
I personally regard transport as an economic portfolio, and if we do not efficiently get our grain, our manufactured products, our containers are our potash, our coal, our our lumber, the rest of the world. Once we don't get them efficiently out to their destination, our customers will look elsewhere. So that is, in my opinion, a very honest people don't appreciate it. But I think a critical part of a healthy economy is how well we move our goods south of the border or to the Asian continent or east to the European continent.
So I'm focused on that 10 billion dollars will help us to do bottleneck some of the places where our transportation system is not as effective as it needs to be. How could it be otherwise really? Like. Can you give an example of a country that has a solid economy with a solid infrastructure and transportation? Well, I didn't get to know you. I think you're right. It couldn't be otherwise. But, you know, if you're if you're a small country, your challenge is much smaller.
If you're a small country in a temperate climate, it's much smaller moving the the the amount of product that we move in this country over very large distances in what can sometimes be horrible weather conditions is a very challenging thing. And if you look at the north where there is only rudimentary infrastructure and where a lot of the resources are located, how well we can make that system more efficient can have a definite and important benefit for Canada. And that is something that we need to improve at time.
For two more questions. Just if we said to what degree is transport being an economically viable in competition with being an environmental problem, it's a good question. So the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases in this country is the oil and gas sector. Twenty five percent of our greenhouse gases are the oil and gas sector. What comes second? Transportation. Twenty three percent. Twenty three percent of the greenhouse gases that are produced by Canada come from the transportation sector, and 80 percent of that is cars and trucks.
So if you look at trains, boats and planes and Off-Road vehicles, they're just less than 20 percent. So 80 percent is cars and trucks. And we have made a promise by signing the Paris Accord that we're going to reduce our greenhouse gases. And with that reduction will also include reductions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. That's in 30 years. So we have a tall order in front of us and we have to aggressively move towards vehicles that are on renewable energy sources.
We have to move towards electric vehicles or hydro. And vehicles in a in a fairly aggressive way as we move towards it, transportation is going to be share now. We are improving truck emissions, we are improving train emissions. We are we just signed with it. Okay. Or a very important international treaty with respect to mitigating the production of CO2 starting in twenty, twenty one, because international air, we deal with that through AKL, through the International Civil Aviation Organization, because it's in the skies of international.
They're not just Canada skies and German skies or whatever. So we are making progress in those areas. But we have to work hard to make sure that transportation is going to also do its share of reducing by 30 percent by 2030. Last question. So at this point in time, we really doesn't want to be honest. I think there's a lot of, quote unquote, asbestos flights in the SUV because you just read about it all. Wacky increasing interest.
It's good to talk about a mother who you see need initiative to shut down the government and onto automations back to Canada. And we'll continue. What we've done is not 14 minutes, but I assure you the task of Sydney's advocacy will probably go. Correspondents and de de de de de de de de de de de de de wager. Her husband's result was very similar in my mind. And that is there's no way you can yell all over your cars in De De De De De De Gea and all the owner come in.
You should have said to me, I see an excuse not to pass the measure. He around a deal neighborhood, your security staff. So you can see most of the time plus means that your family should be free of a policy issues. Could you can you know, you took metaphors for the Supreme Court's decision to go to school on the tragedy of what they can yell at the contractor. He doesn't show a vision of what this means of domestic, spousal and all the different countries that, oh, my goodness, knows what Canada does our sales because, you know, she doesn't want to testify to your position.
That applies to commercial procedure. Seek more colleague Canada, do sit down at commercial scale six or seven America. I want to thank you very much on behalf of. Hey, guys, this is Shane again, just a few more things before we wrap up. You can find show notes at Farnam Street blog, dotcom slash podcast. That's fair. And I am s t r e t blog. Dotcom slash podcast. You can also find information there on how to get a transcript.
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