CIAC tells Transportation Minister to not pick winners and losers

Chemistry sector impacted by rail service issues, Globe and Mail

In an article published March 22, Bob Masterson, President and CEO of the CIAC, expressed concern on how inadequate rail service in Canada has recently disrupted production at 13 plants.

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, a backlog at two major railways, Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway Co., has led to chemical, forestry, and energy shippers losing significant business this winter due to the inability to move their products in a timely and efficient way.

In the article, Mr. Masterson noted that the chemistry and other sectors have advised the federal transportation minister to rebuff requests for mandatory requirements for railways to provide preferential treatment for grain shipper. He told the Globe and Mail that it is not helpful to pit shippers against each other and that the focus needs to be on addressing systemic issues that have led to the situation at hand.

CIAC has been a strong advocate for the prompt passage of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, as a key means of beginning to address the systemic issues of rail service and congestion.

CIAC does however, see opportunities to further strengthen the Bill, which is currently before the Senate Committee, by giving the Canadian Transportation Agency the power to initiate investigations on its own and providing more transparent data in one of the few possible remedies available to shippers.

Read the full Globe and Mail article (subscription required) Chemical, mining industries say backlog causing plant shutdowns, lost sales 

For more on the CIAC’s position: Rail shipping crunch prompts ministerial intervention but doesn’t go far enough to rectify the underlying challenges for chemistry producers