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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Canadian officials want to postpone sunset of grain-by-rail rules

The Canadian government late last week postponed by one year the repeal of rules aimed at speeding movement of grain by rail.

The Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, which was enacted in 2014 after an unprecedented backup of grain delivery that year, was due to expire Aug. 1. But the new Liberal government, in office since November 2016, determined that it needed more time to consider the provisions.

A postponement allows various participants in the commodity and railroad systems to plan for the upcoming year, Transport Canada officials said in a press release.

"The content of these provisions, such as interswitching and level of service obligations, impacts all shippers and postponing the repeal of these provisions would allow the government to fully assess the freight rail transportation system for all commodities, in the context of its response to the review of the Canada Transportation Act and the development of a long term plan for the sector," said Marc Garneau, Canada's transport minister.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay added: "These measures allow the time needed to engage with stakeholders to ensure we build a system that Canadian farmers can count on to get their products to markets around the world."

Changing the rules' expiration date will require both the House of Commons and the Senate to agree on the proposal.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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