Bill to prevent future shipment backlogs, won't fix current problem, say critics
OTTAWA - The federal government is expected to introduce legislation this week aimed at moving grain shipments to market faster in light of a huge backlog that may not be cleared until late summer.
Grain growers are welcoming the move, but the major rail companies warn the legislation is adversarial at a time when what's needed is a collaborative approach to getting grain to customers.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has been tight-lipped about what will be included in the legislation.
But he says it will provide clear and achievable solutions to Canada's grain logistics issues.
Earlier this month, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced an order-in-council forcing Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway to double the volume of their grain shipments within four weeks.
The order imposes daily penalties of up to $100,000 if the railways fail to meet the targets by April 7.