May 24, 2018
Grain farmers welcome passage of Bill C-49 into law
Bill C-49 already benefitting grain shipping as railway invests in Canadian-made hopper cars
OTTAWA (May 24, 2018) – Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) was pleased to join Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay in Winnipeg today as he formally announced that Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act had received Royal Assent. This landmark Bill paves the way for a balanced transportation system that will carry Canadian shippers far into the future.
The Bill is already demonstrating its value for the grain industry as Canadian National Railway (CN) announced today that it would be purchasing 1000 new generation hopper cars to significantly bolster shipping capacity. This investment is a clear indication of the importance of Minister Garneau’s Bill and a commitment by CN towards a strong infrastructure that will prevent future grain rail backlogs.
“We knew that Bill C-49 was a strong piece of legislation and now we have the proof that it truly will help modernize the shipping industry,” said Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) Vice President Art Enns from Winnipeg. “Grain farmers can take comfort today in knowing that our hard work in pressing for the Bill will pay off through a balanced and robust rail system.”
This announcement was made possible by new provisions in the Act that ensures investments made by one railway are of direct benefit to that railway, rather than being shared across railways out as they were under previous legislation. Grain farmers have been concerned about Canada’s ageing hopper car fleet for some time and the purchase of new, higher capacity cars is good news.
“I would like to thank CN for acting so quickly on their commitment to purchasing new rail cars,” added GGC President, Jeff Nielsen. “Making this announcement the day after Royal Assent shows that they are serious about harnessing the benefits of C-49 and meeting the needs of their customers.”
Today’s announcement will have a positive benefit for the Canadian economy as a whole as the cars will be manufactured by National Steel Car Ltd. at their Hamilton, ON plant, creating jobs and spurring the local economy, just as grain agriculture does for rural communities across the country.
“An investment in agriculture is an investment in Canada,” concluded Mr. Nielsen. “Ministers Garneau and MacAulay knew this when they ensured that C-49 would strengthen grain transportation and I am joined by my grain farmer members in thanking them for their hard work.”
Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 50,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 13 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.