KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases

March 7, 2014

KAP welcomes federal action to get grain moving

Keystone Agricultural Producers welcomes today’s federal announcement that  CN and CP must dramatically increase the amount of grain they are shipping to one million tonnes (combined total) per week, with a four-week phase-in period, or they will receive penalties of up to $100,000 per day for non-compliance.

“The lack of grain movement since harvest has put many farmers in a dire situation, with no cash coming in and seeding expenses just around the corner, so this is certainly very good news,” said KAP vice-president Dan Mazier.

“KAP has been asking for federal intervention, and we are pleased Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz have listened, “ he said. “We thank them for coming to Manitoba to make this important announcement.”

Reg Dyck, a Starbuck farmer who is chair of KAP’s Transportation Committee, noted that the ministers also promised further legislation when parliament resumes sitting in two weeks.

“This indicates to me they are looking at a longer-term solution – and that’s very important to ensure this does not happen again,” he said. “Statistics show us that rail service has been declining over the past decade, and it has been clearly highlighted this year as more rail cars are needed to move the bumper crop, but instead we’re getting less.

With new, high-yielding crop varieties and advanced agronomic practices, the crop of 2013 will become the norm – so creating efficient rail service is not something we can put on the back burner.”

Rail service has long been a contentious issue with Prairie farmers, although the lack of service this year is unprecedented. With virtually no grain movement, much of the 2013 crop remains on the farm because elevators are full.

The Western Canadian grain industry has seen prices decline, international contracts not being met, and high demurrage charges as ships wait in ports – all of it resulting in billions of dollars in losses.


For further information:

Dan Mazier – 204-720-4646

Reg Dyck – 204-735-2886

Val Ominski, communications – 204-697-1140 (ext. 3)