VANCOUVER, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - "We are supportive of legislation which
will provide shippers with a means of obtaining a service agreement
with their rail carrier that is commercially negotiated and fair to
both parties. However, given that Bill C-52 passed without adopting
any of the proposed amendments put forward by the shipping community
during Committee hearings, it is now uncertain how effective this
legislation will be." said Ian May, Chairman of the Western Canadian
Shippers' Coalition (WCSC).
The Honourable Denis Lebel, minister of transportation, infrastructure
and communities gave reasons for the legislation at the beginning of
the TRAN hearings:
"…there is an imbalance in the relationship between shippers and
railways and the need to correct this situation by increasing the level
of influence of shippers.
The Committee recommended the use of service contracts as a business
tool to improve the clarity, predictability and reliability of rail
service. In March 2011, our government has accepted the commercial
approach established by the Committee."
While shippers are skeptical about the Bill's chances for success, they
remain pragmatic in their approach.
"We will be keeping a close eye on service levels in the months ahead
and should the desired improvements not materialize we will press for
corrective measures during the 2015 statutory review of the Canada
Transportation Act," May said.
The Western Canadian Shippers' Coalition (WCSC) represents companies and
associations involved in the transportation of Canadian natural
resource-based products including: barley, cement, chemicals, coal,
lumber, metals, newsprint, oilseed products, pulp & paper, sulphur,
wheat, and wood pellets. WCSC members provide over 320,000 direct and
indirect jobs for Canadians in communities across the west and ship in
excess of $35.5 billion worth of product annually.
SOURCE: Western Canadian Shippers Coalition
For further information:
Western Canadian Shippers' Coalition