The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is the latest farm group to come out in support of extended interswitching provisions included in Bill C-47.
President Ian Boxall says 99 per cent of elevators in Western Canada are serviced by just one railroad allowing railway interswitching would ensure supply chain efficiency:
"If your elevators on CN's line and they can't bring you cars, this would give the opportunity for them to get a hold of Canadian Pacific Railway and request car service to their facility. Which would just increase competitiveness within our freight system, but also give the shippers opportunity so that our products that are so wanted around the world, get there when they're required to get there."
He notes in 2016 with the rail crisis we saw at the time and the backlog it worked really well.
"Our numbers indicate that there was roughly a $5 million savings to producers because of inner switching."
Boxall says the interswitching trial that was put in at the time gave grain companies the opportunity to get better rail service and get products shipped quicker which then resulted in the producer getting paid quicker.
In a letter to the Federal Transport Minister, APAS recommended they expand the zone distance to a minimum 250 km, extending the trial period beyond the 18-months, and ensuring clear and transparent measures are in place for accountability.
To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with APAS President Ian Boxall click on the link below.