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Commercial dispute resolution

​​The Commercial Dispute Resolution (CDR) process, which was designed in consultation with shippers, is available to address issues about railway rates or service in a cost effective, timely manner.

The face-to-face discussions, which are mediated by independent experts from the Canada Transportation Agency, encourage more detailed understanding of each party's position, establish lasting commercial solutions and reinforce good working relationships with our customers.

We believe shippers who choose to use CDR will find it a more accessible and cost effective model for finding lasting solutions to their concerns.

The CDR process is in addition to all existing provisions under the Canada Transportation Act. Shippers still have access to all existing CTA provisions as remedies.

CDR process

Designed in consultation with shippers, the CDR process is aimed at resolving issues about rates and level of service. 

Through CDR, shippers can take their issues to independent mediation by Canada Transportation Agency officials and, ultimately, to binding arbitration if need be. 

Features of CDR include:

  • Commercial: Face-to-face discussion between railway and shipper promotes understanding of issues between the parties
  • Timely and Accessible: Commencement of this process is prompt, with quick outcomes
  • Affordable: It is a low cost option for shippers
  • The CDR process is addition all existing provisions under the Canada Transportation Act. Shippers would still have at their disposal all existing CTA provisions as remedies.

CDR principles

  • Commercial: Options sought that recognize business realities and include input from both parties
  • Timely: Prompt commencement and conclusion
  • Affordable and accessible: Low cost option for shippers
  • Effective: Mandatory mediation with the option for the customer to follow with either Binding Commercial Arbitration, or existing CTA remedies (e.g. Final Offer Arbitration, Level of Service Complaint
  • Collaborative: Process that promotes understanding of respective points of view

CDR program details

CDR helps resolve issues in respect to traffic that originates and terminates in Canada such as:

Linehaul rates for the movement of goods that could be subject to Final Offer Arbitration (FOA);
Level of Service in relation to sections 113 to 115 of the Canada Transportation Act, and or;
Application of charges for Incidental Services provided by CP.

Issues relating to the level of charges and conditions for Incidental Services will be subject to a separate recourse with the Canadian Transportation Agency.

A CDR Agreement will be effective for an initial period from date of signature, for 2 years. During that period, both parties commit to using CDR as the initial process for resolving disputes covered by the Agreement.

The Mediation process

The Canadian Transportation Agency already has in place the process and structure to conduct mediation.
The confidential process will commence 15 working days from the appointment of the mediator and is confidential.
The process can be terminated and customers may choose to go either to binding arbitration or to seek available regulatory remedy.

Commercial binding arbitration rules

The process will be triggered by application in accordance with the agreed-to process or, if there is no specific agreed-to process, to commercial arbitration.

The Arbitrator shall provide a decision within 60 days following the pre-hearing conference for linehaul rates and level of service issues and within 30 days for application of incidental service charges issues.

The Arbitrator is empowered to enforce a binding decision

  • Can be a compromise
  • Equitable remedies
  • Written and signed award

​How to sign-up

Signing a CDR agreement is simple. You can do so by contacting your account manager, or by following these steps:

Download the CDR agreement

  1. Complete the agreement, being sure to list all contact information, including return fax number
  2. Print and sign the document
  3. Fax back to CP at 403-319-6770
  4. CP will contact you within two working days to discuss next steps