Thursday, 21 December 2017 06:31

AWC says Bill C-49 delay prior to Christmas will derail farmers

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The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) is concerned that grain transportation in Canada is being put at risk with the failure to pass Bill C-49, The Transportation Modernization Act, prior to Christmas.


The delay in Senate approval of the legislation until the New Year could mean serious repercussions for farmers since they ultimately bear the cost of delayed shipments, and could also affect Canada’s reputation as a reliable supplier of grain. AWC notes that passage of Bill C-49 is especially imperative in light of the poor rail service that shippers and farmers have been experiencing in Western Canada this year. For the past several weeks, car order fulfillment by CN Rail has averaged only 50 to 60 percent.
“Grain farmers rely heavily on export markets,”  said Kevin Auch, AWC Chair. “With delayed service, not only do we risk losing credibility with our global customers as we did during the backlog of 2013-14, but we also risk having fees associated with delayed shipments passed down to our already slim margins. With no provisions in place to hold the railways to account, farmers could be facing serious risk with moving this year’s harvest.” 

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