Winnipeg, MB — Canola farmers are extremely pleased that Bill C‑49, the
Transportation Modernization Act, has passed its final legislative hurdle and is now ready for Royal Assent.
"Several elements contained in Bill C‑49, including reciprocal penalties and expanded data collection, will improve the balance of power between railways and shippers and ultimately enhance rail service for farmers," says Rick White, CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA).
"Having this legislation become law prior to the beginning of the new crop year on August 1st was of critical importance to farmers who remain busy planting this year's crop," says Jack Froese, President of CCGA. "We thank all Parliamentarians, for their robust examination of Bill C‑49 and for bringing it to completion. We particularly want to thank Ministers Garneau and MacAulay for their vision and commitment to this work."
Several elements that have been long-term asks of grain farmers and their shippers are now enshrined in legislation, including:
- The ability for shippers to have reciprocal penalties and dispute resolution included in Service Level Agreements,
- A strengthened definition of 'adequate and suitable' level of service railways must provide shippers,
- More proactive use of Minister's direction of the Canadian Transportation Agency to inquire and investigate rail system issues and publicly report the findings, and
- The publication of new railway and supply chain performance data.
These changes, along with others in the Bill, should result in clear improvements to Canada's rail system including new investment in modern hopper cars, a direct benefit from a change in the Maximum Revenue Entitlement calculation. This change alone is expected to produce an increase in system capacity of 15‑25%.
Transportation Modernization Act moves us in the right direction for building a more predictable and reliable transportation system for farmers, for exporters and for our global customers," says White. "While enactment will be swift, time will be required to fully understand the real impacts of the legislation for farmers and to test the new tools that will soon be afforded to grain shippers."
CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.
Kelly Green, Director of Communications
t: 204.789.8821 e: