Canadian Grain Industry and Farm Groups Call for Extension of Emergency Grain Regulations
Canada’s grain industry and related farm groups are requesting an extension of emergency regulations scheduled to expire on August 1, which the government enacted in response to major grain transportation bottlenecking which occurred during the winter of 2013/14.
Because Bill C-30 was passed by the previous Conservative government as emergency legislation, the Manitoba Co-operator reports that the bill had a “sunset clause” included, dictating a finite life for the regulations, which called for changes to the Canada Transportation Act including the expansion of interswitching from 30 kilometers of an interchange to 160 kilometers.
Wade Sobkowich, executive director for the Western Grain Elevators Association (WGEA) told the Manitoba Co-perator in an interview on February 10, “It’s a valuable competitive tool grain shippers are using and want to keep.”
Other rules expiring in August include the ordered minimum volume requirement of grain to be transported by the country’s railways, and the ability for individuals to be compensated by the Canadian Transportation Agency in theses minimum shipping volumes are not met.
Not only grain shippers, but organizations including the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers Association, the Keystone Agricultural Producers, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, and farmer and trader representative group, Pulse Canada are calling for an extension to C-30. The Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways have opposed the legislation since its passing, and remain opposed to its extension.
“A decision has not been taken on provisions of C-30’” said a Transport Canada official in an email dated February 12 reports the Manitoba Co-perator. “As per the act, the sunsetting of these provisions on August 1, 2016 may be postponed via a resolution passed by both Houses of Parliament.”