Government of Canada intends to work with Parliament to extend certain provisions for rail in the Canada Transportation Act

News Release

April 22, 2016 – Ottawa – Transport Canada & Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today announced the Government of Canada’s intention to work with Parliament to postpone for one year the repeal of certain provisions of the Canada Transportation Act that were enacted in 2014 by the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act.

Postponing the repeal of the provisions would allow the various participants in the commodity and railway system to plan for the upcoming year under predictable conditions, while the Minister of Transport fully considers recommendations presented in the report of the Canada Transportation Act Review.

These provisions are set to expire on August 1, 2016. Postponing the repeal of these provisions requires both the House of Commons and the Senate to adopt a resolution agreeing to postponement.


“The Government of Canada is committed to the efficiency of the transportation system. The content of these provisions, such as interswitching and level of service obligations, impacts all shippers and postponing the repeal of these provisions would allow the government to fully assess the freight rail transportation system for all commodities, in the context of its response to the review of the Canada Transportation Act and the development of a long term plan for the sector.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau,
Minister of Transport

“We are committed to improving Canada’s transportation system over the long term to better support the agricultural sector’s economic growth. These measures allow the time needed to engage with stakeholders to ensure we build a system that Canadian farmers can count on to get their products to markets around the world.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay,
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick Facts

The provisions being considered for extension are:

  • to prescribe different distances, by region or by goods, when making regulations on interswitching;
  • to make regulations specifying what constitutes "operational terms" that can be referred to in level-of-service arbitration;
  • to order a railway company to pay compensation to a shipper or any person for any expenses they incurred as a result of the railway company’s failure to comply with its level-of-service obligations; and
  • to prescribe a minimum amount of grain to be moved by Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway during any period within a crop year, and authorize designated persons to impose administrative monetary penalties for failing to meet these requirements.

Associated links


Marc Roy
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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