CIAC looks to bill C-49 to deliver on promises

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) welcomes today’s Royal Assent of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act.

The Bill directionally responds to several issues that CIAC has raised with respect to the need to establish a better balance in the commercial relationship between shippers and rail carriers in Canada’s freight rail system.

“The Bill does not provide everything we believe will be necessary, but it does include provisions that will be helpful to shippers, and the government which is responsible for oversight of the rail system,” said CIAC President and CEO, Bob Masterson.

“We look forward to working with Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency on implementation of the new provisions in the Act in a way that achieves the rebalancing of power to the mutual benefit of all parties. Where necessary, we will also work with our partners in other sectors to seek additional remedies.”

More than three quarters of the chemistry industry’s annual shipments move by rail, accounting for one-seventh of all freight shipments in Canada. Rail costs and service are one of the most important competitiveness factors for Canada’s chemistry producers, especially when deciding to locate a new facility or expand operations in Canada.

“With significant investment growth underway in Canada’s chemistry sector we are concerned with the ability of the rail service and infrastructure to keep pace,” said Mr. Masterson. “As Bill C-49 enters into force, we will also be working with Canada’s Transport Minister, other shippers and the railways to ensure the conditions are present to enable robust rail infrastructure in the coming years and to meet the needs of the growing economy.”