Farmers, Mining and Forest Product Companies Continue to Suffer from Shoddy Rail Freight Services
October 25, 2012
OTTAWA – For years, rural shippers have been suffering millions in losses from unreliable rail freight services – and the Conservatives have done nothing. An independent review found that 80% of rail customers are not satisfied with current services, but the Conservatives have yet to table legislation.
NDP Transport Critic Olivia Chow challenged the Minister in Parliament and demanded action to end the unbearable situation that drags down industries like farming, logging and mining. With her bill, the Rail Customer Protection Act, she has shown a path towards levelling the playing field.
Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, our grain farmers are losing millions because of unreliable services from CN and CP. The mining and logging industries say the same. In fact, eight out of ten rail customers are not satisfied with their services.
Conservatives promised legislation and yet they have not done anything.
I have introduced a rail customer protection act so that shipping services can be improved. Will the minster support my bill or will he continue to do nothing while shippers lose millions of dollars?
Hon. Denis Lebel (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, we are conducting the necessary consultations with stakeholders all across the country to ensure that the best possible bill can be tabled.
This is an important issue for our government. We have committed to table a bill this fall and we will do so.