Progress is being made but the clock is ticking for Bill C-49

April 30, 2018

Canadian Canola Growers Association media release

Winnipeg, Manitoba – April 30, 2018   Canola farmers are urging Parliamentarians to continue moving the Transportation Modernization Act, Bill C-49, through the legislative process so the Bill becomes law prior to the beginning of the new crop year on August 1st.

“Without passage there is no progress in rail service for farmers,” says Jack Froese, President of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “We ask the House of Commons and the Senate to complete their work on the Bill so that farmers and the grain industry can benefit from the many good elements already contained within.”

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen some very good progress on Bill C-49 and we hope that progress will continue at a robust pace,” says Rick White, CEO at CCGA.

Bill C-49 goes a long way to improve the balance of power between the railways and the shippers. Once enacted, farmers should directly benefit from a better performing system overall. That will come in part from better planning and reporting on rail traffic, as well as new investment in modern hopper cars, which will be a direct benefit from a change to the Maximum Revenue Entitlement calculation. This is expected to produce an immediate increase in system capacity of 15-25 percent.

Bill C-49 contains several elements that have been long-term asks of grain farmers and their shippers.

  • The ability for shippers to have reciprocal financial penalties and dispute resolution included in Service Level Agreements,
  • A strengthened definition of ‘adequate and suitable’ level of service railways must provide shippers,
  • More proactive use of Minister’s direction of the Canadian Transportation Agency to inquire and investigate rail system issues and publicly report the findings, and
  • The publication of new railway and supply chain performance data.

“The Transportation Modernization Act is important for enhancing the predictability and reliability of the transportation system for farmers, for exporters and for our global customers,” says White. “We thank Ministers Garneau and MacAulay for their work on Bill C-49 and we look forward to seeing the Bill enacted as swiftly as possible.”

CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.

Kelly Green, Director of Communications
t: 204.789.8821  e: [email protected]

The Alberta Canola Producers Commission is a farmer directed organization representing Alberta’s 14,000 canola growers and is a member of the Canadian Canola Growers Association.

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