Cypress Hills Grasslands MP David Anderson is calling for the federal government's measures to improve grain transportation by rail by also ensuring a consistent supply of cars to shortline railways.
Anderson has called on federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt to ensure shorelines are not missed as part of a solution for improved rail grain deliveries.
“Recent car allocation has left the shortlines and their customers in a dire situation. I have worked on this issue for several months and believe the long-term solution lies in mandatory contracts between shippers and railways which include reciprocal penalties. Because this is not immediately available through our legislation, I have written to the Minister of Transport calling on her to ensure a steady car supply to Western Canadian shortlines,” Anderson stated in a press release.
Anderson was calling for shortline rail car support following the introduction of Bill C-30, An Act to Amend the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Transportation Act.
“We have addressed a number of important areas including increasing interswitching limits and grain company contracts. The improvement on the collection of information is critical. But it is also critical that shortlines have a steady supply of cars and the Act does not address this issue.”
“Imposing minimum shipping volumes has improved grain delivery, but it allows railways to shift their car allocation to the points with the quickest load times and the lowest cost,” Anderson noted. “Without a consistent car supply, western Canadian shortlines and the loading facilities located on them are left in an extremely precarious position. They and their customers cannot do their business when they are unable to secure an adequate supply of cars.”
“We cannot have a bad situation made worse for shortlines. Until such time as they will be able to access fair contractual arrangements with the railways, we need to ensure that they have appropriate railcar allocation numbers,” Anderson concluded.