Fair Rail Freight Service Act

An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (administration, air and railway transportation and arbitration)

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.

Sponsor

Denis Lebel  Conservative

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Canada Transportation Act to require a railway company, on a shipper’s request, to make the shipper an offer to enter into a contract respecting the manner in which the railway company must fulfil its service obligations to the shipper. It also creates an arbitration process to establish the terms of such a contract if the shipper and the railway company are unable to agree on them. The enactment also amends provisions related to air transportation to streamline internal processes and certain administrative provisions of that Act.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

May 30, 2013 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
May 29, 2013 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-52, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (administration, air and railway transportation and arbitration), not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the Bill; and that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:20 p.m.
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NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will try again with my Conservative colleague.

Is the member really saying that, even though the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities met with the CN representative a dozen times, that amount of pressure on the Minister of Transport was not a factor in his introducing a weak bill?

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the president of CN, Claude Mongeau, had impact on the minister, the bill would not be here. I have sat down with him a number of times, and he said we should not do it. He gave me all kinds of reasons why it would be a terrible piece of legislation. The railways are not really excited about this.

My argument to him was that if the railways do not want the bill, then they should have service agreements, and if they do not want service agreements, then they need the bill to be able to get them over the line. I would suggest that there is no impact there.

This is not a piece of legislation that either of the railways is excited about or interested in. They see the rationale behind the legislation. They are not supportive of the bill, but they are not saying anything very negative about it either.

Any time that both sides do not agree 100% on a bill, then that bill is usually striking the right note and balance. I think we have that here.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Yellowhead for his wise counsel on tonight's debate. As he said, as we go after these international markets with our trade agenda, which is going to be so important for the expanding of our economy, as we see with oil pipelines, they end up being a network that joins job centres together. A rail network is very much like that as well. It is a network that joins job centres together.

Would the member like to comment a bit about the positive impact on the Canadian economy as we pursue international agreements and we use our gateways, both in the east, in Halifax, St. John's, and other places, as well as the west? Could he talk about the positive impact of jobs for these rail networks?

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. The creation of jobs and the growing of our economy is absolutely critical, and the railways play a major role in that.

As a government, we have been able to put a significant number of dollars into infrastructure to make certain that the gateway project on the west coast, the corridor project to the south, and the eastern project corridor to the east capitalize on those international markets. The infrastructure that is built there would not only creates jobs, but it would also create an infrastructure that would create jobs because of the kind of trade we are expecting.

We are a blessed country in so many ways and have so much opportunity, especially as we see this massively growing international trading relationship around the world. Healthy railways lend themselves to the success of our country and the kinds of job opportunities we will have for the future.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:20 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of Bill C-52, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act.

Before I get going, I cannot help but mention that here we are, trying to debate an important piece of legislation, and yet the government has moved time allocation once again. This is the 37th time. What does the government have against parliamentary democracy? Why is it so determined to shut down debate and to prevent members of Parliament from having their say on important pieces of legislation? My colleague said how important this legislation is, and because it is so important, I am very disappointed that the Conservatives had to use these tactics yet again.

When we look at this bill, it actually gives our rail freight customers, or shippers, the right to service agreements with rail companies, especially CN and CP. It also puts into place, as my colleague said, a Canadian Transportation Agency-led arbitration process for failed negotiations, and penalties for violating the arbitration results.

This all sounds good, but I want us to take a look at what this means. By the way, we are speaking in favour of this bill. However, we do not believe this bill is complete. It does not address all the issues that the shippers, farmers and everybody needed it to address, but it does go part of the way.

We call this bill a baby step in the right direction. As good behaviour should always be rewarded, it is a piece of legislation going in the right direction. We have heard that this will not alleviate all the challenges faced by the shippers but it will go a long way in addressing a few of them. It is one of those cases of “better something than nothing”. That is why we are supporting this bill.

At this time I want to acknowledge the work done by the member for Trinity—Spadina on this file. She is an amazing critic for the transportation file. She is dedicated, passionate and has worked incredibly hard with different organizations of shippers, and representatives from the mining companies, the pulse growers, the Canadian Wheat Board, the automotive industry, as well as the mineral and chemical companies.

It is her commitment, compassion and not letting go of this issue that I believe has forced the Conservative government to bring this bill to this House right now. Quite honestly, they have been dilly-dallying over this piece of legislation for a very long time, long after the report was out. They have had lots of time to act.

The member for Trinity—Spadina has a private member's bill, Bill C-441, rail customer protection act. It is her absolute advocacy and outreach, and that kind of work in the House, as well as the pressure from the shipping community, that has put pressure on the Conservatives to table legislation.

I think we should always give credit when members of Parliament put in an incredible amount of work to benefit our farmers, mining companies, automotive companies that have to move cars, and, of course, all the other resource industries as well, including forestry. We are absolutely delighted with the work that the member has done.

I also want to pick up on something that was said just a few minutes ago. CN made a profit of $2.7 billion in 2012, in one year, yet when I look at the penalty they will face, it is $100,000. By the way, that penalty is not paid to the shippers; it will be paid to the government.

I look at that and ask which lobby group has been successful. One just has to take a look at this bill. I have talked with shippers in my riding and visited a port where grains and legumes come in. This is when I learned something absolutely amazing, which you will be surprised at as well, Mr. Speaker. Did members know that Canada is the largest provider of pulses to India? In my naiveté, I always thought that lentils, chickpeas and all of those legumes were being brought to Canada from India and other countries. I was quite shocked to find out it was the opposite. It was the Canadian consul in Chandigarh who told me. He presented the figures and asked me if I knew that Canada is the largest exporter of legumes to India. A lot of those legumes go through the port of Vancouver and the port of Delta.

What I have heard from business people in my community, those who receive and ship, is the travesty that exists right now. They actually have to wait, sometimes for days and days, because the promised carriages do not arrive. If they are slow to unload a trolley—I think it is called a trolley—when it arrives, they end up having to pay fines, but there are no consequences for the railway companies if they are late, do not send enough trolleys or if the trolleys that arrive are damaged and, therefore, cannot be used.

I looked at the ledger with one of these business people in great detail, who wanted to show me the impact it was having on his business. Let us say that he does not get the shipment on time, that the shipment of pulses that arrives from the Prairies does not get to his place on time. In the meantime, he not only has trucks and truck drivers waiting but labourers waiting to unload, and he has time booked at the port. Guess what? He has to pay all of them, through no fault of his own, just because the railway company is delayed or because it does not deliver all the trolleys he was expecting on that date.

I thought it must just be a few dollars here and there. I was surprised at how much these shippers pay if they do not empty the trolleys on time. However, I was also shocked at the port fees they still had to pay if they did not take up their spots and how the costs escalated the longer they waited. Really, we are not talking about simple costing. This bill has compensation—no, not compensation, a slight penalty for the railway companies of $100,000 when they make $2.7 billion in profit. Guess who that money goes to? It does not go to offset the real costs incurred by the shippers and receivers, those who grow and ship the goods. That money goes to the government.

I have been shaking my head on that one, thinking this makes very little sense. Does the government really have a vested interest in making sure that this new piece of legislation really works, if it knows that every time CN Rail is late, it is going to get $100,000? That does not seem like a penalty. It seems like the government has built in a bonus for itself. We really have to take a look at that.

Our railway system is the backbone of our country. There is no doubt about it. From some of the early CP and CN stories we have all read about, glorious or not so glorious, we know that 70% of our surface goods are moved by rail. That is a significant amount. When we say that there are shippers who actually suffer the consequence of this, we are not talking about a small number of people.

This is another figure that absolutely astounded me. It is that 80% of service commitments for agricultural rail customers are not met by rail companies. I think 80% would get a big F if I were grading them for service. Let us say, out of 100 times, 80 times they fail to meet their deadlines. We are talking about produce that has to be moved quickly and people are waiting for it. We are also talking about some produce that could get spoiled, but we are also talking about the ricochet or cascading costs that I just mentioned earlier.

There are delays. There are insufficient numbers of rail cars. Some rail cars arrive and they are damaged. Sometimes they order 12 rail cars and guess how many arrive? For one person I was talking to, shippers might only get half the rail cars they ordered. That puts all kinds of stress on the system. Once again, when we look at the losses incurred by the shippers, the bill fails to address that. I would urge my colleagues, even at this late stage because it is in their hands, to really take a look at that.

The rail freight service review said that 80% of shippers are not satisfied. By the way, we are not talking about one industry. Of course agriculture plays a huge role in this area, but we are also talking about forestry, natural resources, manufactured goods, mining, chemicals and as I said earlier, all the agricultural belt. Key stakeholders in agriculture, mining and forestry industries, not just individual people but associations representing these industries, have been calling for freight legislation for years.

Let me give some examples: Pulse Canada, Grain Growers of Canada, Forestry Products Association of Canada and the Mining Association of Canada. Once again I would say that as I have talked with many business people in my community who are involved in the shipping industry they have been so full of praise for the member for Trinity—Spadina who has done such great work on this file.

Canada's shippers deserve fair and reliable rail freight service for the good money they are paying. Right now with the way our country is, CN and CP seem to hold a dual monopoly. The impact of that monopoly has not been addressed by Bill C-52 because the one area that has not been addressed is pricing. That is a critical part as well, and it is not only pricing, but also the fact that there is no compensation for the shippers.

There were six recommendations from the shipping community at the committee stage, sensible, practical and modest. They were all rejected. This is an all too familiar pattern. I sit at the immigration committee as vice-chair, and it does not seem to matter what amendments we propose. Even amendments that the minister thinks would be really good ones because we take up his wording just get rejected.

However, these were not amendments from the opposition. These were amendments suggested by the shipping community, the business community, the people who are the backbone of this country who pay taxes and who were looking to the government to show them a level playing field. Once again, the government has failed to show a level playing field to all the industries I mentioned, including agriculture. Once again, it has chosen to stand closer to the big corporate friends like the railway lines, CP and CN.

Members know that the NDP is not going to give up. We are not planning to go away. We are planning to work harder than ever. We will continue to work with the shipping community to tackle the issue of gouging through uncompetitive rail freight rates.

Do members know what? This was an opportunity for the government to address that issue, to take a holistic approach, instead of taking a baby step, a very tiny baby step. In here, we can talk about the economy. We can talk about growing jobs. We can talk about all kinds of issues. However, here was a concrete opportunity for the current government to do something that would help to bolster our economy, agriculture, the mining industry, the forestry industry and the automotive industry. Once again, it was very short-sighted and just decided to take a baby step.

One of the key things we have to take a look at is that when we look at the moving of goods and think that 70% of our surface goods are moved by rail, in this huge country—and by the way, as we know, moving goods by rail is much more environmentally sound than it is to move them by road—the government had an opportunity, at this time, to support the pulse growers, the grain growers, the mining industry and the forestry industry.

We know that disruptions to rail freight services and unacceptable service costs cost the Canadian economy hundreds of millions of dollars every year. The businessmen I have talked to when I have taken a look at the losses they incur, when they incur those losses, they impact the community I live in. They impact right across this country. A few of the business people have been telling me that they absolutely—

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:40 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, thank you for reminding me. My apologies. No lack of respect was meant by that at all.

Because rail cars arrive late or because of the state they arrive in or because of all the other delays, that costs the economy hundreds of millions of dollars and that ricochets right across communities across Canada and then plays into the price for the goods. Quite honestly, it damages our international reputation as well.

Can members believe that Canada is the largest shipper of legumes to India? I never would have believed it if I had not found that out for myself.

In any event, rotting crops, idle plants and mines, and missed ships are the daily reality for industries across Canada.

The NDP stands with the—

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:45 p.m.
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Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's very passionate speech, but there were some contradictions.

First, the member made it sound like this government was pitted against industry. To that, I will read two quotes.

First, the Grain Growers of Canada, one of the groups she said we did not consult with, said, “We especially thank [the] Agriculture Minister, [the] Transportation Minister and the federal government for listening to farmers and moving this legislation ahead”.

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, a second industry player, said, “this legislation is critical”.

The other contradiction is that, given all the doom and gloom the member has spoken about, how is she going to bring herself to vote for the legislation?

I believe the NDP is going to vote in favour of the legislation.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:45 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to answer this question.

We are going to be supporting the legislation, which is not a surprise. As I said earlier, this is a baby step in the right direction and we believe in rewarding good behaviour, which is what we are going to do.

However, those same industries that he said were pleased this baby step was being taken, also advocated through amendments and suggestions that they wanted far more. The bill does not go far enough.

We are willing to work with the Conservative government even after the legislation is agreed to so we can improve it and address the needs of the shippers, growers and miners. We stand with industry.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:45 p.m.
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NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for making such an informative speech based on facts and figures. It is unfortunate that, for the 37th time, the government is imposing time allocation on us, especially on such a flawed bill that does not take the six recommendations made by shippers into consideration.

As well, we know that it mainly affects people outside our urban areas, because farmers and the mining and forestry industries are located in remote regions for the most part. It affects local and regional economies, and it hurts many workers in those areas.

I would like her to talk to us about that and about our frustration at not being able to debate these issues.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:45 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate that this is a baby step. There was far more that needed to be addressed in the bill.

It is a fact that there is no compensation for the shippers if their goods are spoiled or delayed. If they miss their port time, there is no compensation for the incredible fees they pay to the ports, or their staff, truck drivers and cranes. None of that is covered in the bill.

The bill does not cover the kind of monopoly that CP and CN have over Canadians. It does not in any way address the gouging that takes place or looks at the pricing.

Remember, we are talking about just one of these railway companies, CP, making a profit of $2.7 billion. A lot of that profit is made at the expense of shippers who are losing out. Also, this company has an 80% failure rate.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:45 p.m.
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Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeMinister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to put on the record how important this bill would be for Saskatchewan and for our economy.

We are a major player in the world potash market. In fact, Saskatchewan potash producers generated $7.2 billion in gross revenue. Therefore, the movement of potash is important to our railways. Saskatchewan producers spent $311 million on potash transport in 2011 and their production filled more than 110,000 train cars, equivalent to more than three full trains everyday. In terms of volume, potash is the third most important commodity for Canada's railway after coal and wheat.

Could the member tell the House if this spirit is also to be shared on that side of the House. Could she do anything possible to pass the bill expeditiously, so we can get on with our priority of our economy, which is important, and potash—

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:50 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, this legislation would only apply to new agreements negotiated. In fact, it does not apply at all to all the current agreements. For the potash, grain and legume shippers, all that will cause them some concern.

As I said, we will support the bill because it would go part way and that is better than nothing. However, it is very unfortunate that it this will not address all the issues for our farmers and for our resource industries when it comes to moving goods across our country.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:50 p.m.
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NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my hon. colleague from Newton—North Delta on her excellent speech, which I listened to carefully and appreciated.

I would like to commend the excellent work done by our transport critic, the member for Trinity—Spadina, which my colleague also mentioned. She clearly demonstrates the importance of the work she has to do when it comes to standing up for shippers. She is also aware of the importance of rail transport and its effects in the context of combating climate change.

Unfortunately, our colleagues opposite, the Conservatives, have very little interest in combating climate change. To them, that is a pointless expense, when it should be a priority. In fact, it will be the challenge faced by an entire generation.

The question I would like to ask my colleague concerns the excellent work our New Democrat colleagues are doing in committee. They proposed nine amendments that referred to the six proposals she spoke about so eloquently concerning industry, business and shippers. Those very reasonable amendments would have been very effective in improving the bill, which would have gone from being a baby step to being a giant leap in the right direction.

On that point, I would like to hear her comments about the excellent work we are doing in committee, as compared to the one-way-only work done by the Conservatives, who are prisoners of their ideology.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:50 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate that the legume and grain growers associations, all the different organizations I mentioned earlier, came up with some very reasonable amendments that would have made the playing field in the shipping industry of goods across the country by rail a bit more level. Unfortunately, the government failed to grab that opportunity. However, I am glad that all parties in the House will support this.

I really need to mention this. It is the privatization of CN in 1995, under the Liberal watch, without any safeguard for shippers, that has led to our current virtual monopoly. That is one of our problems. Back then, if we had fought to keep the track system in the public hands, that would have made life so much easier, even for VIA Rail, et cetera.

I am glad the Liberals are on board, but when I look at this, a lot of the problems that have been created were created during their watch because they allowed this to happen.

Fair Rail Freight Service ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2013 / 10:55 p.m.
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Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak in support of Bill C-52, the fair rail freight service act. My comments today will describe our extensive consultations with stakeholders from across the rail-based supply chain. These consultations helped shape Bill C-52 and helped to ensure that it would take a fair and balanced approach to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and reliability of rail-based supply.

In 2008, the government initiated the rail freight service review to address ongoing concerns regarding rail service. As part of the review, the government appointed an independent panel of three eminent persons. The panel's mandate was to provide recommendations on how to address rail service issues, including both commercial and, if necessary, regulatory solutions.

In issuing its recommendations, the panel consulted extensively and broadly with stakeholders in the rail-based supply chain. Indeed, the panel held broad consultations with 85 shippers, railways and other stakeholders and received over 140 written submissions.

Taking full account of input provided by stakeholders, the panel submitted its final report to the government. The government carefully considered the panel's recommendations as well as stakeholder views presented during the review and announced a number of key commitments to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of the rail-based supply chain.

A key commitment of our Conservative government was to develop legislation that would provide shippers the right to a service agreement and a process to establish one should commercial negotiations fail.

As part of our commitment for legislation, we launched a consultation process, inviting input from stakeholders. During the summer of 2012, we asked stakeholders for their views on the development of a new legislative provision to give shippers a right to a service agreement and on what process should be followed to establish one should commercial negotiations fail.

The response from stakeholders was robust and fulsome. Extensive consultations spanned a number of months, including meetings with shippers, shipper associations and railways that provided the opportunity to listen to a diverse range of views regarding rail service issues and a legislative provision to address those issues.

In addition, a variety of stakeholders provided extensive written input, including shippers, shipper associations, railways, provinces, municipal associations, ports and terminals. These stakeholders came from across the rail-based supply chain and had operations throughout various regions of the country.

I have described the formal processes of the review and our invitation to stakeholder input over the summer months of last year. I would also like to note that we have continued to hear the views of stakeholders on an ongoing and informal basis.

Throughout these consultations, we heard from a diverse range of stakeholders, including large, medium and small shippers, shippers of various products, including agriculture products, coal, potash and forest products, ports and terminals from east and west coasts of Canada, class 1 and short line railways and other levels of government. We listened carefully to stakeholder views and considered their input to develop a legislative provision that would ensure the best possible outcomes for the supply chain as a whole, as well as for the Canadian economy.

The fair rail freight service act responds to key points raised by stakeholders throughout the consultations, which I just described. For example, shippers reiterated that the legislation had to provide leverage in their negotiations with the railways to ensure they could get the rail service that met their needs. Shippers have also expressed that a process to establish agreements must be timely and efficient. Additionally, shippers have asked for a mechanism that would hold railways accountable for service failures.

We have heard these concerns. The bill provides every shipper with the right to a service agreement and a process to establish one where commercial negotiations fail. Service agreements would help give shippers more clarity on the rail service they can expect to receive. While we expect that most would be able to negotiate agreements commercially, the arbitration process ensures that shippers identify the elements to be addressed to ensure they can get the rail service that truly meets their needs. Furthermore, the arbitration process is 45 days and can be extended for up to another 20 days at the arbitrator's discretion. This timely process would allow shippers to focus their resources on growing their businesses.

In response to the request of the shippers for greater railway accountability, the bill provides for the Canada Transportation Agency to apply an administrative monetary penalty of up to $100,000 for each railway service failure. This is a strong mechanism to hold railways accountable.

The bill is a balanced approach, which is reflective of stakeholder views in several other respects as well. For example, both the shipper and the railway must first try to resolve the matter commercially. Should commercial negotiations fail, there is a process for an arbitrator to establish an agreement. The arbitrator would have sufficient flexibility to impose an agreement that is tailored to the given situation. In this flexibility, the bill recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that railways have an obligation to provide service to all users on their network.

It is clear that the fair rail freight service act is the product of listening to input provided by stakeholders. The bill's approach is firmly grounded in the views and concerns expressed by stakeholders from across the rail-based supply chain. This bill provides shippers with leverage to ensure they can negotiate with the railways to get the rail service that truly meets their needs.

Shippers have expressed their support for the bill, indicating that it meets their fundamental request for more leverage in their negotiations with railways. Bill C-52 balances the requirements of the railways to provide adequate and suitable service to all other customers. The balanced approach responds to concerns raised by shippers and railways, but more importantly ensures that the Canadian economy is the ultimate winner. Efficient and reliable rail service is key to the long-term prosperity and growth of the Canadian economy.

To remain competitive in global markets, shippers have to get their products to market. Canadian shippers work hard to maintain their global reputation as reliable suppliers. To enhance Canada's international competitiveness, shippers need a fluid rail-based supply chain to move product from farms, mills and mines to market, in a predictable, reliable and efficient manner. The fair rail freight service act ensures shippers would get the rail service that meets their needs, allowing them to grow their businesses and take advantage of global market opportunities. Railways would be able to manage their networks in a manner that benefits all users, and the Canadian economy would be better positioned to take advantage of new opportunities, thereby supporting long-term economic growth and prosperity for all Canadians.