KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


March 27, 2014

New grain-movement legislation a step in the right direction

The legislation introduced yesterday by the federal government to address grain movement in the short and medium terms appears to give farmers a good deal of what they were asking for, says Doug Chorney, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers.

“Bill C-30 extends the one million tonnes per- week-minimum the government ordered the railways to ship several weeks ago,” he said. “That will take us to the end of the crop year, and after that the government will have the authority to re-set shipping minimums for the next two years, depending on the crop situation.”

The non-compliance fine of $100,000 per day has also been enshrined in this legislation, although Chorney is concerned fines are still paid to the Government of Canada rather than to affected shippers.

“We would prefer to see penalties for railway non-performance included as a mandatory element of service level agreements that are required between shippers and the railways . That way, the railway would pay the shipper and the shipper would pay the farmer for lost income due to poor rail service.”

Another farmer request concerned inter-switching, and Chorney said he is pleased to see the new legislation extends inter-switching distances from 30 to 160 kilometres.

“This change likely won’t have a significant impact on the grain backlog immediately, but any change that adds an additional competitive element to the grain shipping industry should be considered positive.”

At a meeting this morning in Winnipeg with KAP and other stakeholders, Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz committed to accelerating the planned review of the Canada Transportation Act.

“This is good news because we need a long-term, comprehensive and fair tool that protects shippers and the Canadian economy as a whole,” Chorney said. “ I anticipate the government will continue to listen to farmers and shippers as we work through this process.”

-30-

For further information:

Doug Chorney, president – 204-785-3626

Val Ominski, communications – 204-697-1140 (ext. 3)