Transport Canada comes through for western Canadian farmers with historic announcement
(Calgary, AB) May 16, 2017: Alberta Barley is thanking the federal government and Transport Minister Marc Garneau today for its commitment to farmers through the tabling of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act which seeks to amend the Canada Transportation Act.
Details emerged this morning from Transport Canada on the proposed legislation, which will introduce multiple benefits for western Canadian farmers, including the right for shippers to seek reciprocal penalties in service agreements with railways, to bring balance and accountability to those responsible for service failures.
“Today’s announcement is fantastic news, we feel like we’ve been heard and we’re glad the government is taking our concerns seriously,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley chair. “While we have yet to fully analyze the proposed legislation, we are cautiously optimistic that with the introduction of reciprocal penalties this is the beginning of a balanced transportation system for Western Canada’s farmers.”
Lenz said that Alberta Barley has been working on grain transportation issues with government, especially since the 2013 bumper crop, when widespread system failures plagued farmers and shippers as grains were not delivered on time to their market destinations.
Min. Garneau also announced an updated definition of “adequate and suitable” service, which most feel is both lacking and long overdue, as well as introducing a new mechanism, Long Haul Interswitching, and continuous data tracking on rates, service and performance.
“If the Transportation Modernization Act is implemented properly, it could revolutionize the movement of goods in our sector,” said Lenz, adding the accountability that appears to be coming for railways will benefit Western Canada’s grain farmers.
For more information, contact:
Alberta Barley Communications Manager