The centrepiece of the Canadian government's regulatory strategy from 1904 onwards, the Board of Railway Commissioners is also central to Cruikshank's study. He describes the origins of this independent regulatory agency -- the forerunner of the National Transportation Agency -- and examines its efforts to resolve complex freight disputes. Cruikshank shows how freight rate controversies generated a variety of regulatory initiatives: governments attempted to stimulate competition in the railway industry, entered into contracts such as the Crow's Nest Pass Agreement, and fixed tariffs in legislation such as the Maritime Freight Rate Act. He demonstrates, however, that the new initiatives did not necessarily displace older ones but instead created a plurality of regulatory instruments which governed the Canadian freight rate structure. The regulatory pluralism established during this period has endured through much of the twentieth century.