Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Agriculture
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ottawa hails new rail shipping regulations, says farmers to benefit

SASKATOON - The federal government hopes new rail transportation rules will speed up deliveries of grain and harvest some goodwill with farmers hard-hit by a shipping bottleneck.

The Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act includes measures that set minimum grain volumes that Canadian National (TSX:CNR) and Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) must meet from Aug. 3 to Nov. 29.

The railways are also to provide more information about grain shipments to allow for better monitoring.

There are also provisions to more clearly define service level agreements that can be arbitrated by the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The legislation, effective Friday, was passed last spring after a rail bottleneck left huge amounts of grain from a record crop sitting in bins across Western Canada, causing producers financial hardship.

At one point, Ottawa ordered rail companies to double the amount of grain they were moving each week to a minimum of one million tonnes or they could face fines of up to $100,000 a day.

"The regulations passed today are intended to maximize the amount of grain moved by rail before the winter season and allow the government to reassess the situation later in the fall, with the longer-term goal of returning carryover stocks to normal levels by the end of July 2015," Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in a release.

"Today's regulations are the latest step in our ongoing efforts to create a rail supply chain that farmers and all shippers can depend on as they grow the Canadian economy."

CN President Claude Mongeau said the new law isn't necessary and could hurt the rail sector.

He said the railways did a reasonably good job last fall and this year of dealing with a record grain crop. The supply chain is now operating normally and is ready to deal with the next grain harvest, he added.

"As there are no structural problems to fix, there is no need for such burdensome and ill-advised regulatory intervention," he said in a release.

"The government’s approach can only stifle supply chain collaboration and may ultimately undermine investment in the rail sector."

CP President Hunter Harrison was also unhappy with the new rules.

"Today's disappointing announcement by the Government of Canada is very unfortunate and clearly demonstrates that despite the facts, this government has not listened," Harrison said.

"Issues relating to the transportation of grain will not be solved in Ottawa but by the joint collaboration of all partners in the supply chain."

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said the regulations will help avoid a repeat of the grain bottleneck.

"Our government has made tough decisions for the benefit of our producers and to maintain Canada's good reputation as a global supplier," she said in a release.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media