Grain Growers of Canada pleased with passage of Bill C-30

For Immediate Release
Grain Growers of Canada pleased with passage of Bill C-30

(Winnipeg, MB, May 29, 2014) – The Grain Growers of Canada thanked Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz, and MPs and Senators from all sides, for the passage of Bill C-30, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act. Bill C-30 passed third reading in the Senate earlier this week and was given Royal Assent today. The legislation is another important step in clearing the grain backlog and addressing Canada’s rail freight system deficiencies.

“We want to thank the government for listening to our concerns and taking further action to help clear the grain backlog. These measures build on the Order in Council provisions, and begin to move us towards a rail system that is more balanced and accountable,” said Art Enns, Chair of the Grain Growers of Canada’s Transportation Committee.

The new law will extend and codify the railway performance requirements contained in the March 7th Order in Council. It will also enable the regulatory authority to further define elements of Service Level Agreements and allow for reciprocal penalties; establish an arbitration process for contractual disputes between farmers and grain companies; allow the extension of interswitching; and, enhance monitoring and data collection.

Grain Growers’ President Gary Stanford echoed Enns’ comments. “We’ve informed the government about the negative impact the transportation deficiencies have had, both in terms of the domestic supply chain and on Canada’s international reputation as a reliable exporter of quality grain. We’re glad the government and opposition parties worked together to get this through Parliament quickly.” he said.

This caps-off a busy week on the rail file, which included the Canadian Canola Growers Association’s filing of a level of service complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency against CN and CP railways – a move that GGC strongly supports.

“A strong message needs to be sent to the railways that they must live-up to their obligations, and that there will be real consequences if they do not. Looking ahead, we will continue to stand-up for farmers by taking an active role in the regulatory consultations on the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, which need to begin as soon as possible. We also look forward to engaging in the upcoming Canada Transportation Act review, with the goal of ensuring a modern freight transportation system, with adequate rail capacity to better serve all commodities,” concluded Enns.
For more information please contact:
Art Enns, Chair, Grain Growers of Canada Transport Committee (204-746-8522)
Gary Stanford, President, Board of Directors, Grain Growers of Canada (403-795-8449)