November 2, 2017 – OTTAWA: As Bill C-49 moves from the House to the Senate, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes the foundation it lays for greater transparency of rail freight data. CEO Derek Nighbor says the government understands that this data disclosure will help achieve a more competitive and efficient transportation system that is critical for Canada’s 600 forestry dependent communities.

As Minister Garneau said in Edmonton on May 18, 2017, “Shippers often don’t know whether shipment delays are the result of unavoidable congestion issues or operational failings on the part of the railway.”

Bill C-49 creates the basis for regulations to promote the type of transparency in rail freight performance data that our members need to: determine how well or poorly Canada’s supply chain is working going forward; inform decisions to maximize efficiency, including by the Canadian Transportation Agency; assess service they receive compared to others within the supply chain; as well as to see where congestion is occurring and, to the extent they can, adjust their shipping strategies accordingly. The Bill represents an important first step towards reversing the trend of the past decade that has seen an erosion of publicly available data on the operations of Class 1 railways in Canada at a time when increasingly more granular data on their U.S. operations is being published. FPAC is encouraged by the government’s commitment to increasing transparency in the system and looks forward to robust regulations that will make this a reality.

“Transportation costs represent up to one third of total costs for the average forest products company. When we presented our industry’s recommendations, we emphasized the need for more reliable service and competitive rates,” says Nighbor. “Most of our mills are in rural and northern communities and have few options on how to get products to market.”

“Our sector’s relationships with our supply chain partners in rail, marine and trucking are very important to us. FPAC looks forward to working together to fully maximize the opportunities within this legislation,” says Nighbor.

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FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $67-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada’s GDP and operates in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.

For more information contact:

Richard Walker
Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Forest Products Association of Canada
rwalker@fpac.ca 613-563-1441 x 314
Follow us on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC