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A decline in railway service for the grain sector has seen performance numbers drop dramatically, resulting in the worst grain backlog in years. This backlog is putting contracts in jeopardy, causing mounting demurrage costs and damaging Canada’s reputation as a reliable grain exporter.
It is incomprehensible how the Liberal Agriculture and Transport Ministers have said time and again the crippling grain backlog is not a serious problem, even going as far as saying there’s no immediate solution for getting Canadian grain moving again.
Canada’s Conservatives recognize the importance of ensuring Canadian farmers have access to a logistics system that gets their commodities to market in a predictable and timely way.
That is why when we were in government, we immediately responded to challenges facing Western Canada’s rail shipping system by mandating minimum grain volume shipments from the railways. We also introduced fines for non-compliance by passing the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act and launching an expedited review of the Canada Transportation Act.
By failing to extend or make permanent the provisions of the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, Justin Trudeau has allowed this dire situation to go from bad to worse.
Time is of the essence. The Prime Minister must stop blaming others for Liberal mismanagement, stop defending the rail duopoly, and take immediate action to resolve the grain backlog by holding railways accountable for inadequate service.
Luc Berthold and John Barlow
Conservative Shadow Ministers for Agriculture
Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport