Press Releases

Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions say passing of Bill C-49 is a historic turning point for the grain industry, thank Ministers Garneau and MacAulay for commitment to farmers

The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley say today’s news that Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act is about to receive Royal Assent represents a historic step forward for farmers. The Commissions have pressed hard for years to see a reformed transportation system that farmers can rely on to get their product to Canada’s global customers in a timely fashion.    
The commissions are now looking forward to seeing key aspects of the legislation implemented including shippers’ ability to negotiate reciprocal penalties in service level agreements with the railways and access to long haul interswitching to open up better competitive rail options.

The commissions hope to see these mechanisms introduced in the system prior to the beginning of the crop year on August 1 and look forward to seeing the railways’ plans for moving the 2018 crop.

“We saw today that the government is listening to farmers,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair. “Bill C-49 is a monumental turning point – it not only provides the long-term competitive mechanisms to improve rail service that we’ve been working to see implemented, but also paves the way for Canada to maintain its status as a reliable supplier to our global customers.” 
The commissions further note their gratitude to Ministers Marc Garneau and Lawrence MacAulay for their commitment to this file. The Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications chaired by Senator David Tkachuk also played an instrumental role in bringing forward important amendments that strengthen the legislation.

“We are extremely pleased to see the government move this long overdue legislation forward,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair. “Bill C-49 lays the foundation for a transportation system where all players, including the railways, are accountable for their performance.”
The commissions look forward to monitoring the implementation of Bill C-49 through the Crop Logistics Working Group of which AWC is a member.
Media contact:
Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission & Alberta Barley
c. 403-813-6956
d. 403-219-7906