Message from the President
The pre-budget season is always a busy time for Team RAC. This year’s was especially so. Since January, we have had more than 600 contacts with federal policy and decision-makers and dozens more with key players provincially.
With intense interest in cost of living considerations and supply chains, we have focused on educating government stakeholders about Canadian railways’ track records of safety, value and reliability. Through op-eds, social campaigns and more, we have driven these messages home when and wherever possible.
Sadly, in Ottawa, Spring’s arrival has felt a bit like Groundhog Day.
The federal budget saw the resurrection of failed policy that is at once misguided, not evidence-based, and harmful to Canada’s supply chains. The policy of extended regulated interswitching and the ban on replacement workers in cases of work stoppage are two measures that will not improve the efficiency, capacity or reliability of Canada’s supply chains. They will do the exact opposite.
Despite extensive, fact-based representations on both the interswitching and replacement worker files, the current minority government – its poll numbers softening – chose short-term politics over sound economic policy. This is deeply regrettable. Our focus now is to limit the negative repercussions of these decisions on our members and the economy as a whole.
After all, Canada’s railways are committed to remaining strong and healthy links in complex, integrated global supply chains. The RAC will work with the government, associations, and other stakeholders so that its members and associate members can continue to keep Canada moving forward safely and efficiently.
Over the coming days, weeks and months, Team RAC will work flat out to educate and advocate on behalf of Canadian railways, and to limits the impacts – several of them stacked/cumulative – of fact-free decision-making.
We will make the case (as we demonstrate with the SRY case study below) that all railways large and small can and do play critical roles in well-functioning supply chains. Our arguments are bolstered by conclusive data and research showing railways’ resilience and reliability during the pandemic, including a new report we will be sharing publicly soon.
We have notched some wins, too, which we celebrate as part of our budget season roundup, also below.
Our work continues and we have facts on our side. Onward and upward into spring.