Canadian Canola Growers Association

New Legislation Responds to Farmers' Rail Service Concerns

March 27, 2014CCGA Press Release

​​​​​​​​​​​​Winnipeg, MB  --  Yesterday’s introduction of Bill C-30 the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is welcomed news for canola farmers as it confirms the Government’s ongoing commitment to address both short and long-term service problems with Canada’s rail transportation system.

“Canola farmers have repeatedly expressed concerns about deficiencies in rail service as these shortcomings negatively impact our ability to export our crops and generate cash flow on the farm,” says Rick White, CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA).  “We appreciate the Government’s intentions with this Bill as it takes one more step toward addressing the complex and highly interconnected grain logistics challenges that we face.” 

The Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act contains several amendments to the Canada Transportation Act, including giving the Canada Transportation Agency authority to regulate elements of Service Level Agreements (SLA) and extend interswitching distances across the Prairies, as well as the ability to collect more data and monitor supply and demand.   

“These are issues that shippers have been calling for and we look forward to engaging in further consultation about these elements of the Bill to ensure more effective SLAs, better forward planning and improved transparency and service performance,” says White.  The acceleration of the Canada Transportation Act review is an important component of the Bill welcomed by canola farmers.  

Other elements contained in the Bill include amendments to the Canada Grain Act that give the Canadian Grain Commission regulation and arbitration authorities over grain contracting.  “More balanced accountability in the grain contracting process is another important element of the grain logistics challenges farmers face,” says White.     

The measures announced in yesterday’s Bill, along with other efforts recently implemented demonstrate that Government is listening to farmers concerns.  In recent months a multi-year project that increases the monitoring of grain logistics was announced and an Order in Council was established that set out minimum grain movement volume requirements.  

“This new Act builds on those previous measures and we are hopeful that taken together these measures will move us forward in enhancing our image as a major global trading nation and a reliable supplier, says White.  “We look forward to continuing to work with the Government and all industry stakeholders to improve capacity and service so that we can meet our long term objectives for growing production, trade and our economic contribution to Canada.”

CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.  


Kelly Green 
Director, Communications
Phone: 204.789.8821