April 25, OTTAWA — The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is encouraged by the announcement made last Friday by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, of their intention to work with Parliament to seek an extension of provisions enacted in 2014 under the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act. The provisions, set to expire on August 1, 2016, include policies and regulations that have proven effective in ensuring farmers can more efficiently transport their products by rail to shipping ports, in order to service markets around the world.
“We appreciate that the ministers recognize these provisions are vital for farmers in western Canada. They allow more competition and pricing options as well as better service for transporting grain — factors that have a direct impact on the farmer’s bottom line, since transportation expenses represent such a large cost to grain farmers,” said CFA President Ron Bonnett. “Without these provisions, farmers would be at a greater disadvantage in a system that already lacks competitive options.”
CFA looks forward to connecting with Members of Parliament to discuss the provisions further, and to providing further input as the government looks at long-term improvements in the rail transportation system.
“Farmers on the prairies know how a backlog or poor service in rail transportation can cause havoc for agri-businesses, and CFA is pleased to offer solutions to build a more robust, reliable and customer-focused system, one that would support economic development broadly in Canada’s rural communities,” added Humphrey Banack, CFA First Vice-President.
CFA will keep its members updated on this and other developments, in the context of the government’s expert panel review of the Canada Transportation Act, which published its report in December 2015.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the country’s largest national general farm organization. Its members include provincial general farm organizations, national and inter-provincial commodity organizations – representing more than 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families through its members. Founded in 1935 to provide Canada’s farmers with a single voice in Ottawa, the CFA works on behalf of Canada’s farmers to ensure the continued development of a viable and vibrant agriculture and agri-food industry in Canada.
For more information, please contact:
Jessica Goodfellow or Erin Kelly
CFA Director of Communications