Soybean Value Chain Welcomes Government Support for Amendments to Bill C-49
Ottawa, ON – All segments of the Canadian soybean value chain welcome the April 27 announcement by Transport Minister Garneau of the Government of Canada’s decision to accept critical grain-related amendments to Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act.
“On behalf of Canadian soybean seed developers, producers, processors, and exporters, I wish to commend Transport Minister Garneau, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister MacAulay, the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, and the Senate of Canada for their support of these critical amendments to the Transportation Modernization Act,” said Soy Canada Chair Mark Huston. “It is now of utmost importance that Members of Parliament and Senators work together to ensure completion of the legislative process prior to August 1, the commencement of the next crop year,” added Huston.
Soybeans constituted the sixth largest crop grown on the prairies in 2017 after all wheat, canola, barley, peas and oats, and ahead of lentils, corn, flaxseed, beans, rye, canaryseed, mustardseed, chickpeas, sunflower, and buckwheat. The grain-related amendments will: extend to soybeans and to soy products the protection of the Maximum Revenue Entitlement (MRE) for rail transportation that is available to other major crops produced in the prairie provinces; expand access to the long haul interswitching option to additional grain shippers; and, allow the Canadian Transportation Agency to investigate systemic rail service issues on its own motion.
“The addition of soybeans to the list of crops eligible for protection under the Maximum Revenue Entitlement will ensure that all major crops will henceforth be treated equally,” said Ron Davidson, Soy Canada Executive Director. “While it was understandable that soybeans were not included in the MRE calculation two decades ago, their continued exclusion would have been markedly inconsistent with the very different circumstances that exist in 2018,” added Davidson.
Canada’s most rapidly expanding major field crop during the past 20 years, soybeans have rapidly become a Canadian success story. In 2017, soybean production totalled 7.7 million metric tonnes in eight provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). Following a doubling of production during the last decade, rapid advances in technology are projected to support yet another doubling of Canadian soybean production during the next decade.
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