Forest Products Industry Praises Government for Passage of Bill C-8

    Bill will help shippers that use Canada's freight rail transportation

    OTTAWA, Feb. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Avrim Lazar, President and Chief Executive
of the Forest Products Association of Canada, today welcomed the passage of
Bill C-8, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (railway
transportation). The industry also commended the Government, and in particular
two Cabinet Ministers, Lawrence Cannon and Chuck Strahl, for taking concrete
action to restore competitiveness to the Canadian freight rail system.
    "The forest products industry is one of Canada's single largest users of
freight rail services, annually shipping millions of tonnes of products,"
Lazar said. "Given that most of this industry's mills are located in remote
areas where rail service is the only viable transportation mode, a competitive
rail transportation system is an absolutely critical element of the Canadian
manufacturing sector's competitiveness."
    Over recent years a lack of competition over significant parts of the
rail system has resulted in significantly higher transportations costs for
Canadian shippers, particularly those in remote areas that are captive to the
railways, Lazar added. This affects both rates and service at the majority of
our mills across the country.
    "For this reason, the measures contained in Bill C-8 will greatly help to
restore some of the competition back to Canada's freight rail transportation
system," Lazar said.
    Bill C-8 includes a provision that will enable shippers to challenge
unreasonable and arbitrary rate hikes and ancillary charges that are often
non-negotiable. In addition, the government has committed to a rail service
review which will further improve freight rail service.

    FPAC is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally
and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's
forest industry is an $80-billion dollar a year industry that represents 3% of
Canada's GDP. The industry is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in
over 320 Canadian communities and providing nearly 900,000 direct and indirect
jobs across the country.

For further information:

For further information: Paul Vieira, Director of Communications, Forest
Products Association of Canada, (613) 563-1441 x: 323, (613) 884-3312 (cell),; Jeremy Dunn, Curve Communications, (604) 684-3170, (604)
726-8350 (cell),; Laura Ballance, Curve
Communications, (604) 684-3170, (604) 771-5176 (cell),

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