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Bill C-49 Amendment Details

October 5, 2017

This will be of interest to those members that have been following the progress through Parliament of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. 

The Commons Transport Committee (TRAN) reviewed the Bill yesterday, (October 3) and made several amendments.  While we haven’t seen the revised Bill, we understand from Transport Canada that an overview of the amendments is as follows.   



  1. On information (both waybill and service information) that the railways will be required to begin sending the information beginning 6 months after the Bill receives Royal assent, down from 12 months in the original draft.  In addition, the time limits for the railways to provide this information to the government, and the time for the Canadian Transportation Agency to make the aggregated information public have been shortened.  
  2. The Long Haul Interchange (LHI) exclusions have been modified so that Kamloops will be an available point of interchange, with the objective of opening this provision to shippers in parts of British Colombia and Alberta that would have otherwise excluded as Kamloops was listed as part of the Kamloops-Vancouver exclusion zone.   A similar amendment will be made to give shippers in parts of Quebec outside the Quebec-Windsor Corridor access to LHI (apparently at Montreal).
  3. Regarding the List of Interchanges by each of CN and CP, there will be a clarification to confirm the policy that protects interchanges in line with Level of services obligations that railways may have (I assume either by contract or by Agency decision).
  4. Railways will be required to give 120 days’ advance notice  (up from 60) before removing any interchange from its list of authorized interchanges. 



It is expected that the Bill, as revised will be available on the House of Commons website within the next two days.   While these revisions may be helpful to shippers, there are a significant number of other amendments that shippers brought forward that TRAN did not accept.

TRAN will report the Bill back to the full House of Commons in the near future for third and final reading.  It will then go to the Senate for consideration.  FMA will begin reaching out to members of the Senate Transportation and Communications Committee (TRCM) prior to its introduction in the Senate.

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