CN and CP exceed their Maximum Grain Revenue Entitlements for Crop Year 2016-2017

OTTAWA – December 21, 2017 - In a determination issued today, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled that revenues of the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) have exceeded their Maximum grain revenue entitlements for crop year 2016-2017.

  • CN’s grain revenue of $808,213,784 was $5,773,741 above its entitlement of $802,440,043.
  • CP's grain revenue of $725,457,448 was $1,078, 947 above its entitlement of $724,378,501.

CN and CP now have 30 days to pay the amount by which they exceeded their 2016-2017 revenue entitlements, in addition to a five percent penalty of $288,687 for CN and $53,947 for CP. Regulations stipulate that such payments must be made to the Western Grains Research Foundation, a farmer-financed and directed organization set up to fund research that benefits Prairie farmers.

CN and CP moved 6.9 percent more grain this crop year

In the 2016-2017 crop year, 43,196,615 tonnes of Western grain were moved—6.9 percent more than the volume moved during the previous crop year. The average length of haul of 953 miles was two miles, or 0.2 percent, higher than the previous crop year.

Determining the Maximum Revenue Entitlement

The Canada Transportation Act requires the CTA to determine each railway company's annual maximum revenue entitlement and whether each entitlement has been exceeded. The maximum revenue entitlement is a form of economic regulation that enables CN and CP to set their own rates for services, provided the total amount of revenue collected from their shipments of Western grain remains below the ceiling set by the CTA.

Entitlements are calculated using a formula containing numerous elements which are established by the Act. The Volume‑related Composite Price Index (VRCPI) is one of these elements and is determined by the CTA, no later than April 30 every year. The VRCPI is an inflation index which reflects forecasted price changes for railway labour, fuel, material and capital purchases by CN and CP, the two federally-regulated railways. The index, along with the actual tonnage of grain that was hauled and the average length of haul during the crop year for each railway, is used to determine the annual entitlements.

About the CTA

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator which has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA has three core mandates: helping to keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and providing consumer protection for air passengers. To help advance these mandates, the CTA makes and enforces ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and level the playing field among competitors, resolves disputes using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication, and ensures that transportation providers and users are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how the CTA can help them.

Related Products

For more information on the CTA’s maximum revenue entitlement determinations since 2000-2001, please see the Western Grain Maximum Revenue Entitlement Statistics Backgrounder.


Media Relations
Canadian Transportation Agency

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