Feds plan to extend some rail provisions in the Canada Transportation Act

by MM&D Online Staff

OTTAWA, Ontario—The federal government says it intends to work with Parliament to postpone for one year the repeal of certain provisions of the Canada Transportation Act that were enacted in 2014 by the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act.

Postponing the repeal of the provisions would allow the various participants in the commodity and railway system to plan for the upcoming year under predictable conditions, while the Minister of Transport fully considers recommendations presented in the report of the Canada Transportation Act Review, a statement said.

These provisions are set to expire on August 1, 2016. Postponing the repeal of these provisions requires both the House of Commons and the Senate to adopt a resolution agreeing to postponement.

The provisions being considered for extension are:

  • to prescribe different distances, by region or by goods, when making regulations on interswitching;
  • to make regulations specifying what constitutes “operational terms” that can be referred to in level-of-service arbitration;
  • to order a railway company to pay compensation to a shipper or any person for any expenses they incurred as a result of the railway company’s failure to comply with its level-of-service obligations; and
  • to prescribe a minimum amount of grain to be moved by Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway during any period within a crop year, and authorize designated persons to impose administrative monetary penalties for failing to meet these requirements.