The latest measures require Canadian Pacific and Canadian National to ship a minimum of more than one million metric tons of grain a week during the fall harvest to prevent a recurrence of last winter's rail backlog that left huge amounts of grain from a record crop sitting in bins across Western Canada, causing producers financial hardship.
Each will be required to move 536,250 tons of grain a week through Nov. 29 or face penalties of $100,000 per violation. A similar order was imposed in March to move the stranded winter crops.
Claude Mongeau said railways did a reasonably good job last fall and this year of dealing with the 100-year grain crop. The new rules are unnecessary since the supply chain is now operating normally and ready to deal with the next grain harvest, he said.
"As there are no structural problems to fix, there is no need for such burdensome and ill-advised regulatory intervention," Mongeau said in a release.