The Government of Canada hosts stakeholder roundtable discussion on commodity supply chain

From: Transport Canada

The Government of Canada hosts stakeholder roundtable discussion on commodity supply chain

News release

December 6, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Government of Canada

An efficient and reliable transportation system for moving Canadian commodities to market is key to the continued success of Canada’s economy.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, hosted a roundtable discussion on the transportation of commodities by rail with producers, shippers, railways, ports and provinces.

Participants were provided with an opportunity to share information on the performance of their supply chains and discuss market trends for their commodities. The discussion also provided them with an opportunity to raise existing and anticipated rail transportation system issues, and to explore ways to improve the reliability and efficiency of the supply chain.

Some of the key topics covered included:

  • the system performance of the freight rail supply chain;
  • assessing capacity across supply chains, which includes identifying areas of weakness, congestion and strength so that inefficiencies in the transportation system can be addressed, and supply chain partners can make more informed decisions; and,
  • the importance of sharing information and collaboration, particularly in the context of forecasting and planning, and identifying potential solutions.

The Transportation Modernization Act, which became law in May, put in place the right conditions to ensure a fair, efficient, balanced and transparent freight rail system. This includes new requirements for Canada’s major freight rail companies to submit specific data on their service and performance on a weekly basis through the Canadian Centre on Transportation Data hub. Creating access to this new data will improve transparency of the supply chain and help rail users to proactively identify and address transportation challenges in the future.

The Government of Canada is actively engaging stakeholders, as we begin implementing the Transportation Modernization Act and improving Canada’s transportation system.

“I’m encouraged by our discussion around the table today on viable ways to address common challenges in the movement of commodities by rail. I look forward to continued collaboration on this important matter”.

The Honourable Marc Garneau

Minister of Transport

“Our government is committed to working with supply chains across Canada, including rail transportation, to ensure that it facilitates the efficient and reliable movement of goods, supports trade, boosts our economy and creates jobs. I am encouraged by the cooperation and planning I’ve seen today.”

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi

Minister of Natural Resources

“Canadian grain farmers need to be sure they have a transportation system that will meet their needs. Our government is taking concrete steps through the Transportation Modernization Act to ensure the effective movement of grain, along with other commodities, when faced with winter weather conditions.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • Transportation is an important element of Canada’s trade with other countries. In 2016, total international trade amounted to over one-trillion dollars. The U.S. continued to be Canada’s top trade partner, with $673 billion in trade ($395 billion exported, $278 billion imported), accounting for 64 per cent of total Canadian trade in 2016.

  • The new data sharing requirements under the Transportation Modernization Act will improve the transparency of the supply chain and help to proactively identify and address transportation challenges in the future.

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