KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


December 12, 2012

Proposed service level agreement "a victory towards fair and reasonable rail service"

Keystone Agricultural Producers is hailing the federal government’s newly introduced amendments to the Canada Transportation Act – which provide shippers with guaranteed access to service level agreements – as a good first step in improving rail service for the agriculture sector.

“The ability for shippers to acquire service level agreements is something we’ve been requesting for a long time,” said KAP president Doug Chorney. “It should help grain shippers access adequate rail service, and can result in penalties to the railways when that service is not provided.”

In the past, Chorney noted, the railways could charge penalties to shippers if grain was slow in being loaded, but there was nothing that provided reciprocal protection regarding the issues that concerned shippers.

Dubbed the Fair Rail Freight Service Act – or Bill C-52 – the amendments will obligate CN and CP to enter into a service level agreement at the request of a shipper, and if terms of the agreement cannot be agreed upon there will be an arbitration process. If the railways violate the agreement, there will be a penalty imposed at the discretion of the Canadian Transportation Agency.

“I would like to commend the government for implementing this recommendation made last year by the Rail Freight Service Review Panel, and I urge speedy passage of the bill,” said Chorney. “Reliable rail service is a major concern when we market our grain, so the sooner this passes, the better.

“There are other important recommendations made by the review panel that need to be addressed, but we’ll take this as a victory towards fair and reasonable rail service.”

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For more information, please contact:
Doug Chorney, president: 204-785-3626
Val Ominski, communications co-ordinator: 204-697-1140

Keystone Agricultural Producers is Manitoba’s largest general farm policy organization, representing over 7,000 farm families and 21 commodity groups throughout the province. Our strength is our democratic structure, and our mission is to represent and promote the interests of the province’s farm families.