Canada's Agriculture Minister meets with grain sector to discuss rail backlogStaff Writer | March 20, 2018
Canada's shippers, producers, and trading partners must have confidence and certainty that railways have the capacity to get their products to market as efficiently and quickly as possible.
America Shippers, producers, and trading partners
The Minister wanted to hear first-hand about the rail service problems grain farmers and shippers are experiencing, and get the sector's views on recent commitments made by the Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) to address the situation.
Grain industry representatives were in Ottawa to address the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food on the grain transportation backlog. Minister MacAulay took the opportunity to meet with them to discuss the situation and measures the Government has in place to assist producers impacted by delays in grain delivery.
Minister MacAulay has been working with Farm Credit Canada to ensure producers have the financial flexibility they need to face cash flow pressures.
FCC is available to support all its grain and oilseed customers potentially impacted by delays in grain delivery in the three Prairie Provinces and British Columbia's Peace region, and to explore options to address their individual needs.
Producers also have access to tools such as the Advance Payments Program, which offers cash advances for a stored or planted crop of up to $400,000, the first $100,000 interest-free.
This meeting took place just two weeks after Minister MacAulay and Transport Minister Marc Garneau, wrote to CN and CP to express their significant concerns with the railways' failure to meet the expectations of shippers and grain producers this winter.
The Ministers also asked for the railways to clarify how they intended to address the immediate backlog in moving western grain and other commodities to export markets. CN and CP have since responded to the Ministers with a commitment to address the problems. ■