CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - April 9, 2014) -
The Barley Council of Canada (BCC) supports the expedited actions taken by the federal government to pass Bill C-30, and requests long-term solutions to the transportation structure in Canada.
"BCC is pleased to see that the government legislative amendment passed at committee will have compensation paid to a shipper from a railway, as determined by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA)," said Brian Otto, BCC Chairman. "We are also satisfied that the standing committee on agriculture and agri-food took note of BCC's views that a commercial environment with reciprocal penalties is necessary when moving forward with Service Level Agreements and a strengthened transportation system in Canada."
This amendment allows the CTA to provide a decision within 30 days on level of service disputes, and also gives the CTA the authority to require railways to pay compensation to shippers for "out-of- pocket" expenses incurred as a result of failure to meet level of service obligations. The BCC is confident in the CTA's authorization to order the railways to pay any penalties specified in a contract.
"Reciprocal penalties and contracts for the entire value chain are crucial to allow for consistent movement of all commodities," said Otto. "It is in Canada's national economic security interest to work together to mend domestic and international relationships and gain back the reputation as a reliable exporter that we have put in jeopardy."
Longer-term, there have been numerous commitments from the federal government to include a better definition of "adequate and suitable" in the expedited CTA review. The CTA scope may also include a "sunset-able" emergency legislation.
"BCC is relieved that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has taken the time to implement long-term solutions to transportation difficulties," said Otto. "By updating the system now, we are better able to ensure our national economic security for the future-for our children and grandchildren."
Other elements within Bill C-30 include mandatory volume requirements and planning, increased reporting and transparency, and inter-switching limits. Canadian Grains Council regulations remain unchanged.