Farm and grain industry groups are giving a big thumbs-up to the federal government for finally passing Bill C-49.
The Transportation Modernization Act received royal assent on Wednesday, after gaining final approval from the Senate late Tuesday.
Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay will be joined by grain industry stakeholders at a Richardson elevator just north of Winnipeg on Thursday morning to mark passage of the bill.
In the meantime, many farm and industry groups have issued statements and press releases celebrating royal assent (see quotes below.)
Jeff Nielsen, president of Grain Growers of Canada, joined Shaun Haney to discuss the passage of the bill and what it means:
“Grain farmers have been waiting years for a legislative fix to Canada’s rail transportation system. Bill C-49 will improve the long-term competitiveness of the grain supply chain and it is welcome news that these measures will become law.” — Jeff Nielsen, president of Grain Growers of Canada (GGC)
“Having this legislation become law prior to the beginning of the new crop year on August 1st was of critical importance to farmers who remain busy planting this year’s crop. We thank all Parliamentarians, for their robust examination of Bill C-49 and for bringing it to completion. We particularly want to thank Ministers Garneau and MacAulay for their vision and commitment to this work.” — Jack Froese, president of the Canadian Canola Growers Association
“We saw today that the government is listening to farmers. Bill C-49 is a monumental turning point – it not only provides the long-term competitive mechanisms to improve rail service that we’ve been working to see implemented, but also paves the way for Canada to maintain its status as a reliable supplier to our global customers.” — Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley chair
“We are extremely pleased to see the government move this long overdue legislation forward. Bill C-49 lays the foundation for a transportation system where all players, including the railways, are accountable for their performance.” — Kevin Bender, Alberta Wheat chair
“Cereals Canada views this legislation as an historic achievement for the grains industry. C-49 will provide for better commercial accountability in the grain transportation system and introduces competitive options for shippers. This outcome is good news for everyone involved – including Canada’s customers.” — Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada
“This has been a very complicated consultation and legislative process, and our producers appreciate the diligence of both Ministers Marc Garneau and Lawrence MacAulay and parliamentarians from all parties in the House and Senate for getting the bill passed before the new crop year starts August 1. Our members would especially like to thank the Senate and House of Commons Transport and Agriculture Committee members for their diligence in examining the elements of the legislation and their openness in consulting with stakeholders. We are also pleased that they included very valuable amendments in the process.” — Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan
“Poor rail service has impacted oilseed processors and the farmers they buy from for years. C-49 will finally give processors much needed tools to secure better service from railways, improve the competitiveness of the industry and encourage investments in value added agri-processing.” — Chris Vervaet, executive director of the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association
“C-49 will give Canada’s export grain markets assurance that we can deliver the safest, most nutritious, highest quality product on time. This is crucial as we move into our 2018 growing season and foreign markets are making their buying decisions” — Levi Wood, president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association