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In the fall of 2002, Alberta Infrastructure and Alberta Transportation commissioned InterVISTAS Consulting Inc. to produce a report. Alberta Infrastructure and Alberta Transportation called for reflective, critical and innovative thinking in the area of rail freight transport and encouraged new conceptual approaches to the legal and economic considerations facing decision-makers in Canada. The starting point was the recognition that effective regulatory reform is important to economic growth, job creation, innovation, investment and choice. A competitive framework for Canada's rail industry must reconcile 2 conflicting interests:
- shippers, facing intense global competitive pressures with falling or, at best, stagnant prices, need reliable services and rates which allow them to maintain a competitive market position
- railways, as capital-intensive businesses, need reliable revenue bases to support their required capital investments and traffic to build densities on their lines