CTA Review reflects previous government’s priorities, says NFU

Saskatoon - The statutory review of the Canada Transportation Act was tabled in Parliament on February 25, 2016. The eighteen-month review required by the Act was initiated in June 2014.

“The CTA Review was carried out by the previous government’s appointees, and its results predictably reflect an alignment with CN, CP and the multinational grain companies regarding grain transportation, contrary to the interests of farmers,” said Jan Slomp, National Farmers Union (NFU) President. “Our current government is not required to adopt any of the CTA Review’s recommendations. However, it does need to ensure the railways carry out their statutory common carrier obligations, which are a critical part of the Canadian rail system.”

“The NFU urges the new Liberal government to commit to retaining the Maximum Revenue Entitlement (revenue cap) and to initiate the long-overdue full costing review of the railways as promised,” said Ian Robson, NFU Region 5 (Manitoba) Coordinator. “We also encourage the federal government to strengthen farmers’ access to timely, fair, climate-friendly and economical rail transportation to move crops to both domestic buyers and port position.”

“Farmers need to be organized and stand together to get any beneficial regulations,” Robson continued. “The combined power of the two big railways and four big grain companies to control movement and pricing of grain is proving costly to Western Canada. Effective regulation is necessary; otherwise farmers will pay for excess elevator and rail capacity.”

“The NFU has a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding grain transportation policy,” said Terry Boehm, former NFU President. “We look forward to sharing our views in the upcoming consultations with Transport Minister Garneau and Agriculture Minister MacAulay to improve the grain transportation system for Canadian farmers.”

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