June 29, 2023 – Ottawa, ON – Today, the partners of the ‘Flip the Switch’ initiative released the following statement on the recent passing of measures to extend regulated interswitching for Canadian shippers:
“The passing of the Extended Interswitching measures in Bill C-47 is a win for Canadians.
“These provisions, which underscore the government’s understanding of what can be done to encourage competition and grow the economy, are proven to increase competition while lowering costs to shippers and Canadian consumers.
“By expanding access to competitive rail services, Canadian shippers will have the option to achieve efficiencies, reduce costs, and enhance connectivity through market competition. This improvement is vital for grain farmers and businesses of all sizes, enabling them to deliver their products and services more effectively to consumers across the country and around the world.
“Extended interswitching is a common-sense solution to bring competitive forces into the monopoly rail market and improve rail service for businesses across Canada. This is a significant milestone in implementing the recommendations from the National Supply Chain Task Force.
“The potential long-term benefits of extended regulated interswitching are well-recognized, and we look forward to working with the government over the next 18 months to develop a path that leads to the extension of the distance and the permanent integration of this policy into Canada’s transportation framework. This permanence will demonstrate our collective commitment to innovation, competitiveness, and sustainable economic growth.
“We thank the Government of Canada for its work on this important file and eagerly anticipate the continued progress that this policy will foster.”
A full list of partners of the ‘Flip the Switch’ initiative can be found at www.interswitching.ca
For more information, media may contact:
FACT: Poor rail service is often the result of underinvestment by railway companies in power (locomotives) and crew (people). This happens because railways currently don’t have competition in most places along their network of track, so they are able to drive down costs (fewer employees and assets) without the threat of loss of business. Extended Interswitching gives shippers the option to call in another railway if the one they are physically located on doesn’t deliver good service. The end result will be railway companies reinvesting in people (more jobs) to make sure competitors don’t take their business away. It should also help current railway employees who are often stretched thin or face premature layoffs/late callbacks.