February 26, 2013

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities today, to recommend key amendments to Bill C-52, the Fair Rail Freight Service Act.

The intent of this legislation is to provide greater balance to commercial negotiations between shippers and Canadian railways, while ensuring improved rail performance.

As Canada’s third-largest manufacturing sector, the chemistry industry is very dependent on the railway system – with over two-thirds of its annual shipments moved by rail.

“Getting this bill right is essential to the success of many Canadian industries – including ours – and ultimately, to the success of the Canadian economy,” says Fiona Cook, CIAC’s Director of Business and Economics. “Drafting Bill C-52 was an important first step – but it needs to be enhanced and strengthened in order to achieve its objectives.”

CIAC recommends the following key amendments to the bill:

  • Bill C-52 should define what core elements service-level agreements must include, such as minimum levels, quality, and timeliness of service.
  • All references to the word “operational” should be removed from the bill, as this would unnecessarily limit the scope of service-level agreements.

“If Canada is to create jobs, expand its trade opportunities and grow its economy, better customer-railway partnerships are essential,” says Richard Paton, CIAC’s President and CEO.“By making these amendments to Bill C-52, we’ll ensure that Canada’s future economic growth is on the right track.”

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada is the voice of Canada’s $47-billion chemistry sector, which employs 87,000 Canadians directly, and supports another 435,000 jobs in the Canadian economy.

For more information, contact:

Fiona Cook Director, Business & Economics
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada