Press Releases

AWC commends the Federal Government on introducing historic rail transportation legislation

(Calgary, Alberta) May 16, 2017 – The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) is pleased to see the Federal Government has introduced historic legislation that paves the way for permanent, long-term solutions to the rail transportation challenges that Canadian farmers have faced for decades.

In an announcement earlier today, Transport Minister Marc Garneau positioned the new Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49) as a strategy for a more transparent, balanced, efficient and reliable transportation system. 

AWC is pleased to see the focus on provisions aimed at improving railway accountability including the ability of shippers to seek reciprocal financial penalties, better definition of adequate and suitable service and enhanced interswitching – all measures that AWC has pressed for.  The government is also retaining the Maximum Revenue Entitlement (MRE) with modifications that will reflect individual railway investments.

“We appreciate that the Government of Canada has taken steps that will address longstanding transportation issues faced by farmers,” said Kevin Auch, AWC Chair. “Better rail service will in-turn strengthen our ability to build competitive advantage in the international marketplace. It reassures our global customers that our government places a high priority on a robust export environment.”

AWC will be seeking further clarity on specific provisions of the legislation and how they will be implemented including Long-Haul Interswitching which is intended to provide relief to captive shippers. Other provisions of Bill C-49 will enhance inquiry powers of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and require more publicly available data on rail system performance. 

AWC would like to express its appreciation to Minister Garneau and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay for their leadership in bringing this important legislation forward.

Media Contact:
Victoria Russell
Interim Communications Manager