Canada Transportation Act provided for maximum revenue entitlements (MREs) for movement of western grain by prescribed railway companies. Sections 150 and 151 of Act provided for assessment of MREs by Canadian Transportation Agency for each crop year. Agency’s approach to calculating MREs had been disadvantageous to railway since 2001. Agency’s MRE determination for railway for 2013-2014 crop year resulted in railway being required to pay $4,981,915 that it received in excess of its MRE, plus $249,096 penalty, to Western Grains Research Foundation. Agency changed its approach to calculating MREs starting in 2014-2015 crop year. Railway appealed from MRE determination for 2013-2014 crop year. Appeal dismissed. Railway failed to establish agency’s interpretation and application of Act were unreasonable. Despite fact that agency’s interpretation and application of Act had withstood court’s scrutiny in past, counsel for railway devoted significant time to this issue. There was no convincing basis given to interfere with agency’s determination. Agency’s interpretation and application of its own statute was possible and acceptable outcome in light of facts and law. Railway failed to establish any violation of procedural fairness in agency’s consultation process and in agency not considering in its MRE determination railway’s late submission made in that consultation process.
Canadian National Railway v. Canadian Transportation Agency (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 5676, 2016 FCA 266, Johanne Trudel J.A., Richard Boivin J.A., and Yves de Montigny J.A. (F.C.A.).