Canada focuses on transparent, efficient rail system

by Holly Demaree
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Over the past 10 years, half of all Canadian grain production has been exported, averaging 41 million tonnes per year.
Photo by Adobe Stock.
 
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — Marc Garneau, Canadian Minister of Transport, recently introduced legislation that includes measures to advance a long-term agenda for a more transparent, fair and efficient freight rail system in Canada. The bill addresses a number of priorities for the Western Canadian grain industry, including reciprocal penalties, a definition of “adequate and suitable” rail service, maintaining and modernizing the Maximum Revenue Entitlement and a new Long-Haul Interswitching provision.

Building on these measures and in response to a request by the industry, Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the establishment of a fourth mandate for the Crop Logistics Working group, a forum of industry representatives who will exchange views and identify supply chain challenges and opportunities, including throughout the implementation of the Transportation 2030 freight rail initiatives. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will provide a government co-chair.

MacAulay also announced that the Grain Monitoring Program will continue for an additional three years. The Grain Monitoring Program allows for independent monitoring and reporting on the performance of the Western grain handling and transportation system. Western Canadian grain is a C$20 billion industry. Over the past 10 years, half of all Canadian grain production has been exported, averaging 41 million tonnes per year.

AAFC_ Lawrence MacAulay_minister of ag and Agri
Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“The government of Canada has introduced legislation that would strengthen Canada’s rail transportation system, establishing a strong rail freight system for the future,” MacAulay said. “Together with the renewal of the Crop Logistics Working Group and on-going monitoring of the transportation system, these measures would ensure Canadian farmers can continue to get their products to markets around the world quickly and efficiently, generating growth for the Canadian economy, putting more money in the pockets of farmers, and strengthening the middle class."

The Crop Logistics Working Group consists of industry representatives from across the supply chain working together to improve the efficiency in how grains move from farm to customer, in Canada and around the globe. The Grain Monitoring Program was established in 2001 to provide stakeholders with assessments of Western Canadian grain handling and transportation in an independent, neutral, and timely manner.

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