Rail Customer Protection Act Launched to Level Playing Field for Shippers, Rail Companies
June 20, 2012
OTTAWA – Farmers, forestry product companies and rail customers in various other industries are suffering from bad rail freight services. Goods are not picked up and delivered on time; promised rail cars are not provided, leading to broken supply chains and hundreds of millions in economic damages every year.
Olivia Chow, NDP Transport Critic, is launching Bill C-441 to remedy the unacceptable situation. Based on the Rail Freight Service Review Panel’s recommendations, the bill bolsters the rail customers’ position when negotiating contracts and non-performance with the large rail companies.
Here are Olivia’s remarks in Parliament:
Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the rail customer protection act would give every rail customer the right to have service agreements with rail companies, including a performance standard consequence for non-performance, including penalties, proper notification for service changes and a requirement to use the dispute resolution process in the event of a disagreement.
Rail transport is the backbone of the Canadian economy. More than 70% of all service goods in Canada are shipped by rail, but the service is unreliable, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in economic damages every year. With this rail customer protection act, rail customers would finally get reliable and predictable rail freight services that deliver quality products on time.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)