NDP Transport Critic Olivia Chow Launches Rail Customer Protection Act, Bill C-441
OTTAWA – Rail customers in Canada have suffered losses for years due to unreliable freight services – which also cost the economy hundreds of millions of dollars every year. In the face of Conservative inaction, the New Democrats are moving forward with the Rail Customer Protection Act to create a more balanced playing field for shippers across industries.
“More than 80% of all service commitments for agricultural rail customers are not met by the rail companies. This is intolerable,” NDP Transport Critic Olivia Chow charges. “Rail customers should not be bullied by big rail companies. Canadians deserve fair and predictable service.”
The NDP private member’s bill will grant all rail customers the right to negotiate service level agreements with rail companies. Instead of starting with a blank piece of paper, every negotiation will begin with core components aimed to protect rail customers. This would include performance standards and penalties for non-performance, which will go a long way to addressing the concerns of shippers.
According to Robert Aubin, the Deputy Critic for Transport, “this bill will improve an important part of the supply chains and balance stakeholder interests all over Canada.”
Watch MPs Olivia Chow, Robert Aubin and Pat Martin launching the Rail Customer Protection Act: