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It may be heresy to say so, but I’m not a fan of last year’s federal government action on rail service. Putting a spotlight on the problem probably helped kickstart grain shipping, but the cynic in me thinks the legislation’s timing in April actually had more to do with increasing rail movement. The problem with almost any government action is there are unintended negative consequences. Take for example the legislation to limit cell phone contracts to two years. Sounded good but the phone companies simply charged more for phones and the net impact was zero. The rail legislation pushed more cars to Vancouver and Thunder Bay but left other parts of the industry seriously under-served. Just ask shippers of oats and flax to the US or producer car loaders how badly the ham-handed legislation hurt their business. One thing needed is an independent clearinghouse of all rail orders and car availability. Yes I realize that requires more government legislation, but it would improve on last year’s whack-a-mole approach that started the unproductive spitting match between grain handlers and grain movers that helps no one.