#FactsMatter #RailMatters: Pushing collaboration over regulation to strengthen Canada’s supply chains
Collaboration moves supply chains. Regulation slows them down.
Railroaders across the country have known this to be the case for as long as there have been railways.
And, for almost as long as Canada has been a country, the people who power Canadian rail have worked to deliver for Canada and Canadians.
Whether it’s getting critical minerals, grains, fuel, or other items the world needs out to global markets, or whether it’s bringing cars, TVs, phones or other consumer goods where they need to be, railways uphold their end of the supply chain bargain.
It’s for these reasons and more that the final report of the National Supply Chain Task Force, issued last fall, was so disappointing. It ignored these realities. Its recommendations on rail weren’t based in evidence or rooted in fact.
Worse, the most egregious proposals would create supply chain problems where none exist today while ignoring solutions that could make a tangible impact.
Your RAC team in Ottawa has been very vocal in making the case for practical, workable solutions, and in pushing back against calls from some corners to over-regulate in areas where additional market intervention is not needed. (Spoiler alert: that never works.)
We have some powerful additions to our argument arsenal.
The release of an independent, international study by CPCS into rail freight rates earlier this month confirms that Canada has among the lowest freight rates in the world – 11% lower than the United States. (You can read much more about the CPCS study further down in this newsletter.)
We are pulling together data that show conclusively that Canadian railways in weeks-long journeys to get Canadian products to the world and foreign products into Canada, rail is one several supply chain players. Further, we typically only account for a few days of moving those goods, and we do so with high degrees of reliability, low degrees of variability. (Stay tuned for more on how we are pulling this all together soon.)
We have Rail Trends 2022 and other data showing that Canadian Class 1s are industry leaders in safety and have lower train accident frequencies than their U.S. counterparts, while shortlines and others are also among the safest transport options anywhere.
VALUE. RESILIENCE. SAFETY.
In each of these areas, the facts are squarely on rail’s side.
As we have conversations with regulators, policy-makers and decision-makers (elected and non-elected), these are the facts that help us make our case that additional economic and labour regulations for rail are not needed, would undermine investments (past and future), and would be counter-productive to any efforts to improve supply chains.
We’ve added some bench strength in our efforts to tell that story. We are pleased to welcome Kevin Mason as RAC’s new director of policy, advocacy and external relations. Read on to hear from him directly and learn more about our levelled-up effort to bend ears and get results for members.
The coming weeks and months are critical to keeping Canada’s railways healthy and strong. And your RAC team is delivering – as you deliver for Canada and Canadians.