New Bill Aims to Improve Grain Movement

Written by Kelvin Heppner on Thursday, 27 March 2014

New Bill Aims to Improve Grain Movement Agriculture Government  Rail Service Government of Canada Crops

The federal government has introduced a new bill aimed at improving the movement of grain by rail in Western Canada.

Bill C-30 “the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act” includes a number of amendments to the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Transportation Act:

-The federal transport and agriculture ministers will be given the authority to set minimum volume requirements for the movement of grain by CN and CP Rail. For the current backlog, CN and CP will be required to move at least 500 thousand tonnes of grain each week through August 3, 2014. The Canadian Transportation Agency will recommend a minimum volume level to the Minister of Transport as harvest yields become clear in late summer and early fall. The legislation does not include a provision for corridor-specific grain movement.

– The CTA would also be given the ability to regulate prescribed elements in arbitrated Service Level Agreements, which government officials say should give shippers greater confidence in the service agreement provision given to shippers last June.

– Interswitching distances on the prairies will be extended from 30 kilometres to 160 kilometers, giving more elevators access to service by both CN and CP. Interswitching is an operation where one rail carrier picks up cars on its line for another carrier if the pick-up point is within the defined interswitching distance. Currently, only 14 primary elevators have this option, but the increased interswitching distance will open this service up to 150 elevators.

– The Canadian Grain Commission will also be given the authority to regulate compensation for a farmer from a grain company if the delivery dates set out in a contract are not honoured in a timely way.

– The review of the Canada Transportation Act scheduled for 2015 will also be accelerated.

via Local News

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