Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Canola growers lose transportation complaint

The Canadian Transport Authority has dismissed a complaint about inadequate rail service last winter, saying there’s not enough evidence to support the claim.

That, to farmers, is laughable.

At one point, when ships were lined up at Vancouver with no grain to load, the railways were running 70,000 cars behind orders.

The shortage of rail cars opened a record-wide gap between prices for grain in terminals where it could be immediately loaded into ships and grain elevators in the middle of the Prairies.

The federal government has said the railways failed to meet goals set under legislation passed last winter, but so far hasn’t announced the size of the fines it will levy.

The original legislation provided for fines of up to $100,000 a day, but during House of Commons debating, that was quietly changed to “per week.”

 The complaint that was dismissed this week was filed by the Canola Growers of Canada.