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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Canadian government tabs Dinning to oversee part of freight-rail service analysis


The Canadian government recently appointed Jim Dinning to lead a six-month facilitation process as part of an ongoing federal freight-rail service review.

A former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and former executive vice president of TransAlta Corp., Dinning now serves on the boards of various Canadian companies, and is chairman of the Western Financial Group and several other firms. His extensive government and business experience “will be invaluable to the success of this facilitation process,” Canadian government officials said in a prepared statement.

“We are delighted to have a facilitator of such high caliber, who has significant experience and expertise in building collaborative relationships among industry leaders, public-sector executives and elected officials,” said Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Denis Lebel.

Through the facilitation process, railroads, shippers and other key stakeholders will develop a template for service agreements and a streamlined commercial dispute resolution process. The measures will help enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and reliability of the freight-rail supply chain, Canadian government officials said.

In March, the government officials announced they would act on key recommendations cited in a “Rail Freight Service Review,” which was launched in 2008. The government plans to table legislation that would give shippers the right to service agreements with the railroads and provide a process to establish such agreements when commercial negotiations fail.

“I am committed to tabling a bill once the facilitation process is complete,” said Lebel. “Discussions among participants during the facilitation process will help our government develop the specific legislative provision on service agreements.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/2/2011