Extended rail provisions in the CTA
By Top Crop Manager
June 15, 2016 - The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today announced that the Government of Canada is postponing for one year the repeal of certain provisions of the Canada Transportation Act that were enacted in 2014 by the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act. The postponement was made possible following approval of the House of Commons and the Senate.
Postponing the repeal of the provisions until August 2017 will allow the various participants in the freight rail supply chain to plan for the upcoming year under predictable conditions, while the Government of Canada has the opportunity to fully assess the recommendations presented in the report from the Canada Transportation Act Review Panel.
"Developing a long-term plan for the freight rail sector, one that addresses all goods that are transported by rail and that ensures maximum efficiency, is my priority. This extension will allow us the time to carefully examine and consult with stakeholders on the recommendations in the Canada Transportation Act Review report to help us determine those important next steps," said the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, in a news release.
"We recognize the importance of a reliable grain transportation system to help farmers get their products to markets around the world quickly and efficiently. This extension allows the sector to plan for the year ahead under predictable conditions while we seek out their input on the long-term plan for grain transportation," added the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.The provisions being extended provide the authority to:
- prescribe different distances, by region or by goods, when making regulations on interswitching;
- make regulations specifying what constitutes "operational terms" that can be referred to in level-of-service arbitration;
- order a railway company to pay compensation to a shipper or any person for any expenses they incurred as a result of the railway company's failure to comply with its level-of-service obligations; and
- prescribe a minimum amount of grain to be moved by Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway during any period within a crop year, and authorize designated persons to impose administrative monetary penalties for failing to meet these requirements.