Minister Garneau highlights proposed freight rail legislation at Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

News Release

Transportation Modernization Act

May 18, 2017                Edmonton, Alberta        Transport Canada

Freight rail is a backbone of the Canadian economy. It creates and sustains thousands of jobs across Canada and helps move $280 billion of goods every year. People and businesses depend on the smooth movement of goods to market, and all Canadians benefit from a competitive and reliable freight rail system.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, spoke to key stakeholders about his ideas for fair freight for all, which are outlined in Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, at an event hosted by the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. The Act will promote a transparent, fair, efficient and safer national freight rail system that will facilitate trade and meet the needs of users and all Canadians.

The proposed legislation, introduced in the House of Commons on May 16, is the result of over a year of consultation and is informed by the feedback and guidance of citizens and stakeholders across Canada. The Act puts in place clear measures to support fairness and transparency, efficiency, and strong private sector investment in our freight rail system for the long-term.

Key measures include:

  • New reporting requirements for railways on rates, service and performance;
  • A new mechanism, Long-Haul Interswitching, to provide captive shippers across sectors and regions of Canada with access to a competing railway to ensure they have options;
  • A definition of “adequate and suitable” rail service that confirms railways should provide shippers with the highest level of service that can reasonably be provided in the circumstances;  
  • The ability for shippers to seek reciprocal financial penalties in their service agreements with railways, and;
  • More accessible and timely remedies for shippers on both rates and service.


“We have an ambitious plan to secure long-term stability and success in Canada’s freight rail system. It’s all about fairness—so that we have a freight rail system that works for everyone: farmers, rail companies, businesses, workers and for our economy.”

Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

Associated Links


Delphine Denis
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Search for related information by keyword: Transport | Transport Canada | Canada | Transport and infrastructure | general public | news releases

Page details

Date modified: