OTTAWA, June 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, announced today that the new
Fair Rail Freight Service Act is now law.
The bill received Royal Assent earlier today.
"Our Government is proud to have taken concrete action to strengthen our
economy by passing legislation that will improve the predictability,
clarity and reliability of rail freight service across Canada," said
Minister Lebel. "We have delivered the promise we made after receiving
recommendations from the Rail Freight Service Review's Panel of
Rail companies in Canada will now be required to offer a service
agreement to companies shipping goods by rail, if the shipper requests
one. In the event that rail companies and shippers cannot reach an
agreement through commercial negotiations, shippers can use the new
arbitration process created by this bill to establish the terms of
service to which they are entitled.
The goal of the legislation is to encourage railways and shippers to
work together. Through enhanced collaboration, shippers and railways
can increase the efficiency of the supply chain. The Act will help
strengthen the Canadian economy by creating jobs and make Canada more
competitive in international trade.
This new arbitration process will operate under the Canadian
Transportation Agency. For each violation of an arbitrated service
agreement, a penalty of up to $100,000 could be issued against the rail
company by the Canadian Transportation Agency.
This new legislation follows the Government of Canada's tabling of the Fair Rail Freight Service Act last December. It fulfills a key commitment, announced in 2011, as
part of the Government's response to the Rail Freight Service Review's
Further details about the Fair Rail Freight Service Act can be found at:
An online version of the Fair Rail Freight Service Act can be found at:
VIEWS OF CANADA'S INDUSTRY ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FAIR RAIL FREIGHT SERVICE ACT
Canadian Propane Association
Jim Facette, President and CEO
"The new legislation respects the commercial nature of the relationship
between the railway carrier and the propane shipper, but also addresses
the recommendations of the Rail Freight Service Review Panel."
Grain Growers of Canada
Stephen Vandervalk, President
"We especially thank Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Transportation
Minister Denis Lebel and the federal government for listening to
farmers and moving this legislation ahead."
Forest Products Association of Canada
David Lindsay, President and CEO
"Ensuring a fair and balanced relationship between shippers and the
railways will help the forest products industry retain and create jobs
for the benefit of the entire Canadian economy."
Greg Cherewyk, Executive Director
"Over the past year cost cutting and the pursuit of operational
efficiencies have taken the headlines. This announcement puts customer
service back in the spotlight. Improvements in service are key to
Canadian businesses that depend on railways to help meet their
Canadian Fertilizer Industry
Roger Larson, President
"The federal government has taken an important step towards balancing
the commercial relationships between railways and their freight
customers. Fertilizer companies have commitments to their customers not
only in Canada, but the United States and around the world. As this
Bill is implemented, CFI will be monitoring its effectiveness in
providing real change to the service problems that brought about the
Rail Service Review in the first place."
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.