The Grain Transportation Agency advises as follows: (a), (b) and (c).
The Grain Transportation Agency assumed responsibility from the Canadian Wheat Board for administering the car fleet in 1987. This responsibility includes dividing the fleet between the railways and negotiating new operating agreements with the railways. The operating agreement establishes the terms and conditions for operation of the federally owned hopper cars. The federal hopper car fleet consists of 12,902 cars which the government has provided for railway use to transport grain free of charge. The first operating agreement between the government and CP Rail and CN Rail was established in 1972. Prior to 1972 the railways supplied their own cars to meet western grain
movement. As grain became an increasingly non-compensatory movement, the railways found it uneconomical to invest in rolling stock and the governments, federal and provincial, began supplying cars to meet export demand. Since the passage of the Western Grain Transportation Act, the WGTA, the railways are responsible for augmenting the fleet to meet all demands. The railcars are used to transport eligible commodities listed in the WGTA.
The bulk of the federal fleet would be moving grain in western Canada to domestic and export positions. If the federal cars are used outside the western division, basically western Canada, the railways pay funds to the federal government under the alternate use agreement.
The Grain Transportation Agency also administers the alternate use agreements. Government cars can be used in alternate service in order to improve customer service, to reduce railcar switching and improve system efficiency as long as the railways are able to meet WGTA movement requirements. The agreements restrict the number of cars in alternative service. Alternative service includes non-WGTA movements outside western Canada. The railways are charged a commercial per diem rate. The money earned through alternate use agreements is paid to the federal government through the consolidated revenue fund. Funds totalling $3.4 million were earned during the 1992-93 crop year.