OTTAWA, Feb. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) supports the intent of the Fair Rail Freight Service Act, Bill
C-52, to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and reliability of the
rail system but it recommends changes to help reduce the regulatory
burden and help the legislation reach its stated intent.
FPAC appeared today before the Standing Committee on Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities that is studying the legislation. The
bill was brought in by the Government to level the playing field and
address the imbalance in market power between shippers and the monopoly
power of the railways.
"The bill is an important step forward in helping to ensure that rail
shippers can deliver their goods in a timely, predictable and cost
effective way to meet the needs of global customers be they in China,
Europe or the United States," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David
Lindsay. "However we want to make three recommendations that would
improve the bill and help restore balance in the rail system."
Remove all references to the word "operational" so that arbitrators
would not have to sift through mountains of railway operational data.
This would add costs and a burden that would diminish the power of the
Delete all reference to "statutory obligations to other shippers and
third parties". We do not believe it was the government's intent to
have external and irrelevant information drawn into an arbitration over
a very specific service failure between a shipper and railroad.
Insert a new stand-alone section to define "adequate and suitable
accommodation" and "service obligations". Shippers and the railways
have already agreed we must hold firm on what a service agreement
should address. Otherwise we risk diluting the legislation over time.
"We believe that if the committee approves these three adjustments to
C-52, the legislation will better succeed in its intent and help
Canadian companies secure their place as preferred suppliers to the
world." says Lindsay. "That would help support 230,000 employees and
the 200 rural communities that rely on the forest products sector."
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers
nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental
affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2%
of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in
hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the
SOURCE: FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
For further information:
Executive Director, Public Relations
Forest Products Association of Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org 613-563-1441 x313
Follow us on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC