Western Grain Elevator Association

Western Grain Elevator Association

April 08, 2014 16:50 ET

Western Grain Elevator Association Supports Ag Committee Amendment to Bill C-30

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - April 8, 2014) - The Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) today supported the new amendment to Bill C-30, to have compensation paid to a shipper from a railway, as determined by the CTA. The amendment means that the Canadian Transportation Agency can award damages to a shipper, or any person, who has incurred costs as a result of a railway's ability to fulfill its service obligations. "This appears to apply to grain customer contract extension costs, contract default costs and vessel demurrage, among other types of damages that might be experienced by a shipper or a farmer," said Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director.

The WGEA is appreciative of the efforts of Minister Ritz and the members of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in bringing forward Bill C-30 and this amendment. The WGEA is of the view that this provision will be useful, in particular as it applies to a shipper's ability to recover damages through the Level of Service Complaint process. "This ties up one of the loose ends," added Sobkowich. "Once Bill C-30 is passed, we look forward to the necessary clarification that there will be volume thresholds on a corridor basis (in order to be able to maximize producer returns by spreading sales to all markets), and financial consequences for railway failure to adhere to the terms of a Service Level Agreement (SLA)," Added Sobkowich. The WGEA added that the usefulness of this particular amendment as it applies to SLA's will only be known once the regulatory process, intended to define what the government arbitrator can rule into an SLA, is complete and includes financial consequences.

The WGEA is an association of grain businesses operating in Canada, which collectively handle in excess of 90% of western Canada's bulk grain exports. Its members account for approximately 20% of railway revenues and pay annual total rail freight of over one billion dollars.

Contact Information

  • Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA)
    Wade Sobkowich
    Executive Director