The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, (WCWGA) is welcoming new transportation legislation introduced by the federal government earlier this week.

Executive Director Robin Speer says western farmers would benefit from Bill C-49, also known as the Transportation Modernization Act.

“Increased competition and capacity is essential for western grain farmers, and Minister Garneau’s Bill appears to include some positive changes for improved service and accountability in the grain handling and transportation system, which the Wheat Growers have been requesting for some time," said Speer. “The carrier definition is expanded to include other railways, service level provisions have been strengthened, penalties for poor performance are included, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) powers are increased with a dispute resolution process added, the Maximum Revenue Entitlement (MRE) remains and is amended to give railways credit individually for their capital investment, railways reporting their crop movement and winter contingency plans to the Minister—we see all of this as positive and hope it ensures improved service of railways and overall efficiencies in our grain handling system in western Canada."

Another key measure in the bill, according to WCWGA, is new long-haul interswitching provisions that would replace the competitive line rates and extended interswitching.

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