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Feds introduce legislation to address rail capacity challenges

March 26, 2014, Ottawa, ON - Legislation to address rail capacity was introduced in Parliament today. The Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act amends the Canada Transportation Act and the Canada Grain Act, providing additional measures designed to help the entire grain transportation system reach the goal of getting product to market quickly and more efficiently following a record crop year for Canadian farmers.

The new legislation and regulations are designed to increase supply chain transparency, strengthen contracts between producers and shippers, and help ensure the entire grain handling and transportation system is working efficiently at the top of its capacity.

The Government of Canada is also taking steps to address the medium and long-term implications of higher crop yields and extreme cold weather. Going forward, railways will be required to deliver more timely data on grain movements to better monitor the overall performance of the supply chain. The Canadian Transportation Agency will also gather information from all grain supply chain partners on shipping capacities and plans prior to each new crop year, and will advise the Minister of Transport whether specific grain volumes should be mandated for the coming year.

Furthermore, the Government will accelerate the review of the Canada Transportation Act with a view to further improving Canada's grain handling system over the long term in order to achieve improved capacity, predictability, planning and accountability for all parties in the supply chain.