On initial review, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture welcomes the long-awaited Transportation Modernization Act tabled in parliament yesterday by the Minister of Transport Marc Garneau. The Act seeks to improve access, transparency, efficiency, and sustainable long-term investment in the freight rail sector.
"CFA is very pleased with the draft legislation's provisions for grain transportation. It's clear that the voice of Canadian farmers was heard during the consultations undertaken last year," said Ron Bonnett, CFA President. "The entire package will create a more competitive environment while also providing an increased level of service for farmers."
Many of the recommendations put forth by CFA and our regional partners during consultations have been included in the new legislation. As the 2017 crop season approaches, grain farmers will be relieved to see that the Maximum Revenue Entitlement (MRE) program will be maintained and modernized and that longer inter-switching, to foster competition, will now be implemented permanently.
CFA believes this new legislation will create a rail transportation environment that is more conducive to efficiency, with improved service, competitive rates, and transparency, as well as more accessible data that will allow for proactive management of unexpected events or surges of demand for freight.
"We encourage decision makers to enact this legislation as quickly as possible to ensure it is place for this year's harvest," concluded Bonnett.
While more time is needed to determine the impact of this legislation, CFA looks forward to continued collaboration with the federal government through stakeholder consultation and inter-departmental co-operation.