Western Canadian Rail Shippers disappointed and concerned over final version of "Fair Rail Freight Services Bill"

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:

Ian May
Western Canadian Shippers' Coalition

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Western Canadian Shippers Coalition

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