Farmers are dealing with another grain backlog; with railway performance now the worst it has been since 2013-14.
Pulse Canada is calling for an amendment to Bill C49 to grant the Canadian Transportation Agency own-motion/ex-parte power.
Greg Cherewyk, Chief Operating Officer for Pulse Canada, says the amendment could help prevent a similar situation in the future:
"An amendment that would grant the Canadian transportation agency the authority to act on its own motion," he said. "To get out in front of the type of the crisis that we find ourselves in today, and investigate early when it's clear that we are having a problem and issue a general order if necessary. A relief measure to get things back on track far ahead of a crisis or an extraordinary disruption to the system."
He notes the proposed amendment was part of the David Emerson’s CTA Review Recommendations in 2015 that helped form the drafting of Bill C-49.
Cherewyk says they want to see the CTA have own-motion/ex-parte power.
Cherewyk says others areas in the industry added more resources following the 2013-14 grain backlog.
"There's one central player in the railways that does not maintain an adequate level of access capacity pushes it on to the ports, pushes it on to terminals, pushes it on to the farm, and we are saying that has to change," he said. "By having a regulator with the power, the ability and the mandate to step in early, we feel we can change the tone before the shipping season even begins."
Bill C49 is currently before the Senate.