Pulse Canada is seeking immediate consideration on an amendment to Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, that would grant the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) own-motion/ex-parte power. In an open letter sent to the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communication, House of Commons Standing Committees on Agriculture and Transport and Ministers Garneau and MacAulay, Pulse Canada stressed the need for Bill C-49 to be strengthened to ensure future transportation system failures can be acted on before they become a crisis.

With rail performance at its worst since 2013/14, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Transportation Minister Marc Garneau recently sent a letter to Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) instructing both railways to develop a strategy to move grain by March 15.

“This amendment will ensure the regulator has the authority to proactively monitor the system, identify and investigate problems before they become a crisis and take the necessary action”, said Greg Cherewyk, Chief Operating Officer for Pulse Canada.  “We cannot afford to wait until we’re in the midst of a crisis to act.”

Pulse Canada says that amending Bill C-49 to grant the CTA own-motion/ex-parte powers will help avoid future extraordinary disruptions to the transportation system. Having own-motion power would give the CTA investigative powers and the authority to address issues on a systemic basis and to issue general orders. This was also recommended in the Canada Transportation Act Review led by the Honorable David Emerson in 2015 – which informed the drafting of Bill C-49.

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