OTTAWA, Aug. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Transportation Agency has dismissed a complaint from a Saskatchewan agricultural producer alleging that the planned delisting of certain loading sites in Western Canada by the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) constituted a breach of CN's level of service obligations under the Canada Transportation Act.
Although the initial filing by the complainant referred to the loss of rail access by thousands of farmers at 53 sites, in the absence of additional complaints by other affected farmers, the Agency determined that the case concerned the impact of the delisting of CN's producer car loading site at Allan, Saskatchewan.
In its decision, the Agency found that the Act's level of service provisions do not oblige railway companies to maintain and operate all existing or requested producer car loading sites. Requiring railway companies to do so would render meaningless another provision of the Act under which sidings may be delisted, a process which CN followed for the 53 sites.
Evidence showed that the producer car loading site at Allan that has been delisted was used only three times by the complainant since 2005-2006. The Agency noted the future traffic offered by the complainant at the Allan site is not certain and not likely to be in sufficient volume for the Agency to reasonably require CN to maintain service at that location.
Furthermore, the Agency noted that the complainant will continue to have access to CN's loading site at Hanley, Saskatchewan, which evidence has demonstrated to be his preferred site.
The complainant also expressed concern about his future ability to access the Canadian Wheat Board's Churchill, Manitoba Storage Program given the delisting of the Allan site. The Agency found that access to this program will still be available to the producer at Saskatoon, and that this would be a reasonable alternative to the Allan site, particularly in light of the limited historical use the complainant has made of it.
The full text of Decision 331-R-2010 (http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/decision-ruling/decision-ruling.php?id=29979&lang=eng) may be found on the Agency's Web site. (http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca)
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SOURCE Canadian Transportation Agency
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