From a news release
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is encouraged by the announcement made by Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, of their intention to work with Parliament to seek an extension of provisions enacted in 2014 under the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act. The provisions, set to expire on Aug. 1, 2016, include policies and regulations that have proven effective in ensuring farmers can more efficiently transport their products by rail to shipping ports, in order to service markets around the world.
“We appreciate that the ministers recognize these provisions are vital for farmers in western Canada. They allow more competition and pricing options as well as better service for transporting grain – factors that have a direct impact on the farmer’s bottom line, since transportation expenses represent such a large cost to grain farmers,” said CFA President Ron Bonnett. “Without these provisions, farmers would be at a greater disadvantage in a system that already lacks competitive options.”
CFA looks forward to connecting with Members of Parliament to discuss the provisions further, and to providing further input as the government looks at long-term improvements in the rail transportation system.
“Farmers on the prairies know how a backlog or poor service in rail transportation can cause havoc for agri-businesses, and CFA is pleased to offer solutions to build a more robust, reliable and customer-focused system, one that would support economic development broadly in Canada’s rural communities,” added Humphrey Banack, CFA First Vice-President.
CFA will keep its members updated on this and other developments, in the context of the government’s expert panel review of the Canadian Transportation Act, which published its report in December 2015.