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Message from the President -September 2023

This past weekend, I joined people from coast to coast to coast in marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. My commemoration involved some reflection about how we can further the journey of reconciliation, listen and learn, and help build a better country for all.

Building a better country is something railroaders know all about. It is part of our shared history and the rail DNA. And it involves working in partnership with communities. Collaboration is at the heart of our collective wellbeing.

This month, railways’ continuing role in nation-building is our focus. Specifically, we’re looking at the importance of smart investments in rail infrastructure.

Canadian railways invested more than $20 billion back into their networks over the last decade – roughly 20 to 25 cents of every dollar they earned. These investments have increased Canada’s capacity as a trading nation. They have created and supported family-supporting jobs across Canada. They will pay dividends for all, for generations to come.

It’s great to see some governments ‘get it.’ Quebec is an important example. And we are pleased to profile how an investment in SCF Gaspésie is building for an economy of tomorrow.

A strong and healthy transportation system is vital to Canada’s economy, and Canada’s railways are the backbone of that system. Our Class 1s, shortlines, passenger and commuter railways – and their supporting infrastructure – are all part of a rail story that continues to be written daily.

RAC members and their 34,000+ employees from coast to coast need a regulatory environment that incentivizes private-sector investment and innovation so they can keep moving Canada forward. We continue to work with governments across the country to impart that message.

The first few weeks of the current session of Parliament have been action-packed, even raucous. But there are important pieces of legislation and policy decisions at play that we are watching closely.

Anything that negatively affects our railways, like the resurrection of extended regulated interswitching, ultimately impacts Canada and Canadians in a negative way. (Our fight against that misguided policy continues, as we allude to below and as you will see intensify in the coming weeks.)

Our work continues. As an industry and a country, we are mighty contributors and also works in progress. That truth is vital to recognizing our place and to realizing our full potential.