Being viewed globally as a reliable and consistent supplier of pulses directly affects the ability for growers across Canada to be profitable. This is why we collaborate with our national association Pulse Canada, other provincial pulse organizations, and others across the agriculture sector in the area of transportation to ensure we have a unified voice at a national level, and that we see results that enhance the Canadian agriculture supply chain.
The pulse industry, through Pulse Canada, led the establishment of the Ag Transport Coalition. The Coalition is a group of agriculture industry stakeholders that are working towards enhancing the competitiveness of the agriculture supply chain. The coalition has developed performance measurement reports for rail for 90 per cent of grain shipped from Western Canada, which allows for objective and credible, real-time daily and weekly reporting on supply-chain effectiveness. This reporting increases transparency and accountability for railway performance.
Other industry members of the Ag Transport Coalition include the Alberta Wheat Commission, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Western Grain Elevators Association, the Inland Terminals Association of Canada, the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Canada Transportation Act Review & Bill C-49
In May 2018, Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, received Royal Assent after being passed in both houses of Parliament. This marked the introduction of reciprocal penalties into Service Level Agreements, replaces extended interswitchiing with a new "long-haul interswitching" provision, provides the Canadian Transportation Agency with own-motion inquiry powers on systemic or emerging rail freight issues under guidance from the Minister of Transportation, redefines adequate and suitable service, and makes changes to the Maximum Revenue Entitlement calculations to promote railway investment in hopper cars.
A key outcome of Bill C-49 will be the launch of a regulatory process to develop rail service and performance indicators. The Canadian pulse industry believes that the development of a comprehensive data regime to hold players accountable for their performance and track progress towards achieving the goals of the Transportation 2030 strategy is essential.
The Canadian pulse industry worked with other partners to provide input to the Federal Government during the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) consultation period. Following the report and recommendations made by the CTA Review Committee Chairperson, David Emerson, the Canadian pulse industry identified recommendations included in the report that were in alignment with the agriculture industry’s recommendations, those that were not aligned, and areas that may lead to positive outcomes with further industry discussion.
Since Bill C-49 was unveiled the Canadian pulse industry had been calling on the Canadian government to make the amendment to the bill that provided the Canadian Transportation Agency with Own-motion power that would remove the requirement of the Agency to receive a complaint from a shipper, instead enabling the Agency to investigate service issues and railways actions independently, and identify solutions within their regulatory toolbox.