GFM Network News


Rail freight bill chugs ahead

Shippers say they’re disappointed their proposed amendments to the Fair Rail Freight Service Act have been rejected — but hopeful the legislation will see a substantial improvement in rail service. “We are still supportive of this legislation moving forward,” said Richard Phillips, executive director of the Grain Growers of Canada. “We are calling on both

Shippers suggest amendments to beef up Fair Rail Freight Service Act

The worst rail service in three years prompted shippers to propose amendments to toughen Bill C-52, the Fair Rail Freight Service Act, to help balance their relationship with the railways, says Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA). “Service is very poor on both railroads,” he said in an interview March


Rail service getting worse, shippers charge

Shippers say it’s no coincidence that service has deteriorated since introduction of legislation giving them more leverage

Freight service improved when Ottawa was preparing legislation last year to balance the market power of shippers and the railways, but has since slipped back to unsatisfactory levels, shipper representatives say. As “recently as two weeks ago we had mills just about shut down because they couldn’t get boxcars in Western Canada, and not just

Rail shippers aren’t looking for taxi service

The Coalition of Rail Shippers (CRS) disagrees with statements by the railways that shippers are asking for onerous regulations and oversight that would be “unprecedented in a market-based economy.” Rail customers are simply looking for an end to the “take it or leave it” approach identified by the independent Rail Service Review Panel in their

Paying More Won’t Help

Canada’s newly reappointed agriculture minister believes he knows where the answer lies to squeezing better service out of the railways. It’s in your wallet. While doing some post-election musing about the government’s priorities for agriculture over the next several years, Gerry Ritz suggested farmers would be willing to pay more to move their grain to


Liberals Back Shippers On Rail Service

The federal Liberals have thrown their support behind rail shippers lobbying the federal government for regulations to “rebalance” their bargaining power with the railways. But it isn’t the Liberals shippers have to convince, it’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper. While shippers can point to the interim report on rail service that concludes substandard rail performance is

Broad Shipper Coalition Pushing Hard For Rail Regulation

0ttawa Watching railway customer Rob Davies and railway spokesman Cliff Mackay debate railway regulation was like watching Abbott and Costello, except this was improv. “I just don’t think regulations create win-win solutions,” Mackay, president of the Railway Association of Canada, said during a panel discussion here Nov. 16 during a grain industry symposium organized by

More Shippers Rap Freight Service Panel Report

Shipper frustration with the idea of waiting until 2013 at the earliest to get better treatment from CN and CP is heating up. The Coalition of Rail Shippers has sent a memo to all MPs calling on the federal government “to act decisively now to address shortcomings in rail service.” The Rail Freight Service Review


Rail Service Review Enters Next Phase

“Either we have adequate competition or, where we don’t have adequate competition… we need effective legislation to simulate this balance.” – WADE SOBKOWICH Farm groups, grain companies and railway shippers are pleased a federal government review of railway service has taken another step forward. Rob Merrifield, minister of state for transport announced Sept. 23 the