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Saskatchewan, Alberta push Ottawa to toughen grain handling legislation

Saskatchewan and Alberta are calling for tougher federal laws for the grain transportation system after a bottleneck that has left crops sitting in bins across the Prairies.

Chuck Stoody/CP

Saskatchewan and Alberta are calling for tougher federal laws for the grain transportation system after a bottleneck that has left crops sitting in bins across the Prairies.

An emergency order earlier this month from the federal government set minimum targets for railways of 11,000 cars a week and fines of up to $100,000 per day for failing to meet those targets.

But Saskatchewan says upcoming federal legislation should set a minimum of 13,000 grain cars per week and bump up the penalty to $250,000 per day.

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Saskatchewan and Alberta both say money collected should benefit the farmers instead of landing in the federal coffers.

Alberta also says there should be increased rail-track access so grain shippers can receive competitive service from more than one rail company.

The legislation is expected to be tabled when Parliament returns next week.

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