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7/24/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CWB culls caution from CTA Review Panel's recommendations


Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) July 20 expressed disappointment that some of the recommendations within Canada Transportation Act Review Panel's final report, released July 18, don't go far enough to help captive shippers or grain farmers.
The recommendation that Canada's grain handling and transport system be moved to a more commercial basis — possibly leading to a repeal of the revenue cap on grain rates — could cripple farmers, said CWB Chairman Ken Ritter in a prepared statement.
"The panel's recommendations, if implemented, would leave individual farmers at the mercy of the railways," he said. "It appears the panel was more concerned about railway profitability than the viability of farmers."
CWB officials believe the report lacks recommendations that would enhance meaningful rail competition.
"Many farming communities are serviced by one rail carrier. There exists a real danger in these captive markets that farmers may be charged the maximum amount to move their grain," CWB officials said in their statement, adding that the recommendations also would make it difficult for other carriers to access a host railway's line or for farmers to use sidings to load grain.
CWB plans to continue lobbying Canada's Transport Ministry to not accept any recommendations that would increase farmers' shipping costs.


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