Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CN blasts rail regulation legislation

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor
Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of Canadian National, says there is no evidence of systemic rail service problems warranting the Canadian government's introduction Tuesday of legislation that would expand rail regulation to impose level of service obligations.

"The objective fact is that Canada has a world-class rail system, one known internationally for efficiency and reliability—a key asset for a trading nation like Canada—and that reflects a well-functioning market for rail services," Mongeau said in a statement. 

"The government's Rail Freight Service Review (RFSR) process launched in 2008 was a key factor in spurring further improvement in rail service. CN addressed every commercial recommendation of the RFSR panel to improve service, entering framework cooperation agreements with a wide array of stakeholders and level of service agreements with many of its customers to increase supply chain collaboration and deepen customer relationships," Mongeau said.

He added: "CN has launched a comprehensive series of commercial initiatives that benefit our supply chain partners and the Canadian economy. CN is committed to helping its customers be more competitive in markets at home and abroad through better service and a relentless focus on continuous improvement.

"This is why I am troubled by the government's decision to introduce service legislation that is inconsistent with the facts underscoring improved rail service, as well as the government's stated agenda of innovation and productivity to foster economic prosperity for Canadians. I also believe the legislation sends mixed signals to customers and suppliers around the world about the government's approach to commercial markets in Canada," Mongeau said.