Winnipeg, Manitoba -- The Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) is extremely disappointed that the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has decided it will not hear the CCGA’s Level of Service Complaint originally filed on May 26, 2014. In its decision, which responds to motions to dismiss from both railways, the CTA concluded there was not sufficient evidence to proceed with the complaint.
“The CTA’s decision to not hear our complaint is a big blow to tens of thousands of Western Canadian farmers,” says Rick White, CEO of CCGA. “Many of these farmers experienced both short and long-term economic hardship resulting from the breakdown of rail service by both major railways during the 2013-14 shipping season.”
Industry statistics show there is plenty of evidence that this past shipping season was a failure. At the peak, over 70,000 rail car orders were unfilled while ships waited at port because stocks at grain terminals were at historic lows.
One of the association’s most pressing concerns with the decision is the fact that by dismissing this complaint, the broader systemic problems with rail service will not be addressed. “While this decision is not what we had hoped for, CCGA will continue exploring further options after giving full consideration to the decision,” says White.
Beyond the decision, CCGA will continue to press for changes that provide Western Canadian farmers with responsive and reliable rail service so that the systemic problems encountered in 2013 are avoided in the future. The association continues to advocate for farmers on a number of fronts including the ongoing Canada Transportation Act review, Transport Canada’s Commodity Supply Chain Roundtable, the Ag Transport Coalition, and the Conference Board of Canada’s study on “Limits to Growth”.
CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.
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