Mining Group Sounds Alarm in Canadian Railway Legislation Fight – by Josh Wingrove and Frederic Tomesco (Bloomberg News – April 30, 2018)

A proposed law raising foreign ownership limits in airlines and Canada’s biggest railway carrier is headed back to the Senate, the latest step in a tug-of-war that has the mining sector speaking out.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has spent the past year plodding forward with a legislative overhaul that affects major companies like Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. Senators changed the bill a month ago, giving shippers like farmers and mines more power in disputes with railways.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau will accept some but not all of the changes made and will add tweaks of his own, meaning the proposed law will need to return to the Senate. It’s unclear how long that will take.

The bill “represents historic gains for those who depend on Canada’s freight rail system,” Garneau said in a letter to stakeholders, dated Friday. The government has “adjusted and improved the bill in response to shipper concerns.”

Once passed, the proposed law will raise the railway ownership limit to 25 percent from 15 percent — a potential boon for Cascade Investment LLC, Bill Gates’s investment company and CN Rail’s largest shareholder.

For the rest of this article:

Comments are closed.