Farm groups are calling on the Canadian Senate to quickly pass Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, as producers continue to face a backlog of grain shipments by rail this winter.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says it’s important that the railway system be able to receive and deliver grain promptly, and they want this act to be implemented as soon as possible.
"Parliment took quite a while to deal with this legislation," he said. "The government advanced it early, Minister Garneau proposed it many, many months ago, and the political process in the house of commons took to long as did the Senate take to long. There was a pretty broad consensus behind this legislature, so we are anxious to get in place quickly."
Goodale says he’s heard the concerns from farmers and agrees that the railways need to get things sorted out.
"When farm concerns about moving a crop, moving it in a timely way getting it into the hands of customers when prices are as advantageous as they could be from the farmer's point of view," he said. "That high-quality service delivery is fundamental to a successful functioning economy, and the railways need to make sure they deliver.'
Transport Minister Marc Garneau sent a letter to the presidents of CN and CP Rail in January, asking them to do everything in their power to ensure the timely and efficient movement of grain during the winter.