Reliability, Accessibility, and Competitiveness of Canada's Railways is Critical!

MP Shannon Stubbs wrote the following letter to the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Natural Resources: 


December 2, 2022

Dear Ministers,

The lack of competition, efficiency, and reliability in Canada’s railway system compromises
Canada’s supply chains, infrastructure strategies, and potentially poses a threat to national
security. Two companies own over 80% of Canada’s rail lines. This lack of competition is
extremely detrimental to Canada’s natural resources industries, as they disproportionally rely on
transportation by rail.

Many small businesses suffer from supply chain challenges. I recently met with Al-Pac, a pulp
mill in my riding, who approached me to raise their concerns on the rising tariffs, surcharges and
lack of service of railway transportation. Al-Pac was forced to shut their mill down and had to
switch from rail to trucks in order to transport their products, which increases prices for

According to the Canada Transportation Act, “the Agency determines whether a railway
company is fulfilling its service obligation… [and clarifies] that adequate and suitable service is
the highest level of service that can reasonably be provided in the circumstances”. However, in
practice, many railway corporations are not held to these standards. There are longstanding,
significant issues between railway shippers and railway companies that your government has
failed to provide solutions for. The time for reports and working groups is over and the time for
action to fix this problem is now.

Reliability, accessibility, and competitiveness of rail lines must be key to your government’s
actions. Including within your upcoming critical minerals strategy and recently introduced
transportation bill. Resolving these concerns and repeated challenges must align with your
priorities, as ensuring performance standards for rail companies is crucial. Incentivizing
responsiveness in the rail shipping sector and implementing regulatory reform to cut red tape and
costs for companies must be a higher priority for your government. I urge you to engage with
your counterparts to find a solution.

I look forward to your response.



Shannon Stubbs, M.P., Lakeland
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources