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Minister presses federal government for solution to northern British Columbia rail car shortage

Staff Writer | March 30, 2018
Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston is urging Canada’s transport minister to ensure a reliable supply of rail cars in northern British Columbia, where the economy is suffering due to a chronic shortage of freight cars.
Lumber mills
Canada   Lumber mills and other industries
“The impact of unreliable, and inadequate, rail service extends far beyond grain producers in northern B.C.,” Ralston stated in a letter to federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

“Lumber mills and other industries, from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, are also being seriously impacted by the lack of rail service.”

Ralston has asked Garneau to work with northern B.C. chambers of commerce to develop plans for improving oversight and performance of Canadian National (CN) Rail’s system in the region.

“Minister Garneau needs to convey that the Prairie backlog at CN Rail is having a detrimental impact on northern B.C. families and businesses,” said Ralston.

“Companies looking to invest in northern B.C. communities are understandably discouraged from doing so because of the risk and uncertainty caused by CN Rail’s unreliable service,” Ralston added.

“While the recent apology from CN is an important acknowledgement of how serious the situation has become, longer-term solutions need to be found.”