Canadian Transportation Agency to Hold a Hearing to Examine an Application Filed by Ferroequus Against CN
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OTTAWA - April 5, 2002 - The Canadian Transportation Agency will hold a public hearing in Winnipeg beginning on April 29, 2002, on the merits of an application filed by the Ferroequus Railway Company. The application seeks the right to run and operate trains, in order to haul grain and to return empties, over specified lines of Canadian National (CN) between the Camrose, Alberta interchange and the Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Subsection 138(1) of the Canada Transportation Act allows a railway company to apply to the Agency for the right to take possession of, use or occupy any land belonging to any other railway company; use the whole or any portion of the right-of-way, tracks, terminals, stations or station-grounds of any other railway company; and run and operate its trains over and on any portion of the railway of any other railway company. The Agency may, by order, grant the requested running rights and may impose conditions respecting the exercise or restriction of the rights as appear just or desirable, taking into consideration the public interest.
The application filed originally by Ferroequus on October 25, 2001, requested the right to run and operate its train on and over the lines of CN between Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and Prince Rupert, British Columbia and between Camrose, Alberta and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. On March 21, 2002, the Agency issued a decision in which it found that the operating proposal of Ferroequus included, both in Lloydminster and Camrose, lands, tracks, railway infrastructure or interchanges facilities that are owned by Canadian Pacific (CP) or in respect of which CP has a property interest. Since the application had only referenced CN trackage and assets, the Agency directed at that time that it could not continue its examination of the application in its original form. On March 26, 2002, Ferroequus filed with the Agency an amended application which eliminated reference to Lloydminster and the reference to CP's facilities at Camrose.
At the hearing, the Agency will hear evidence and argument regarding the Ferroequus application. Persons who have information or positions relevant to this matter and who wish to participate in the public hearing as an intervener must advise the Agency in writing by no later than April 22, 2002. Interveners submissions must include the intervener's name, address, telephone and fax numbers; a description of interest in, and support or opposition to the application as well as any evidence and argument in support of the position adopted. Interveners who wish to make an oral submission at the hearing must also prefile a witness statement identifying the witness, their background or qualifications and a description of the evidence to be presented.
All submissions must be filed by fax (819-953-9269) and also sent to the Agency in fifteen (15) copies and, if possible, on a diskette, to the Secretary of the Canadian Transportation Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N9. Copies must also be provided to the participants of record.
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent federal administrative quasi-judicial tribunal whose procedures are governed by the rules of natural justice. The application of these rules will ensure that all parties receive fair and equitable treatment.
For additional information:
Canadian Transportation Agency
Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent federal administrative quasi-judicial tribunal. Its mission is to administer transportation legislation and government policies to help achieve an efficient and accessible transportation system by adjudicating disputes as well as by mediation, education and consultation.
The Agency and Rail Transportation
- adjudicates rate and service complaints arising in the rail industry, including disputes relative to railway infrastructure matters;
- determines competitive access requests such as for running rights where one railway seeks to operate on the lines of another;
- grants authority for the proposed construction and operation of railways, and approvals for railway line construction;
- sets regulated railway interswitching rates and the railway revenue caps for the movement of western grain;
- develops costing standards and regulations;
- audits railway companies' accounting and publication/statistics-generating systems, as required.
In most commercial situations, shippers and carriers negotiate freight rates and level of service themselves. When negotiations break down, a number of alternatives are available. Part of the Canadian Transportation Agency's mandate is to investigate complaints relating to interswitching, competitive line rates; joint rates; and level of service. The Agency can also investigate complaints arising between federally-regulated railways for matters relating to joint track usage and running rights. In circumstances where no negotiated agreements exist between railway companies for the joint use of tracks, a railway company can apply to the Agency for the right to run its trains over the tracks of any other federally-regulated railway company.
The Canada Transportation Act allows shippers and carriers to use final offer arbitration to resolve private commercial disputes.
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