KAP News and Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


November 15, 2013

Western farm leaders concerned about rail service, pipelines, oil and gas exploration

All four farm leaders from the West have confirmed poor rail service is hindering the bumper crop produced this year from getting to market.

Doug Chorney of Keystone Agricultural Producers (Manitoba), Norm Hall of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, Lynn Jacobson of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture, along with the Rhonda Driediger of the British Columbia Agriculture Council, met yesterday to discuss this and other concerns.

Chorney said he will be taking the message that rail service needs to be drastically improved for agricultural commodity shippers to the federal Crop Logistics Working Group, of which he is a member.

“This is unacceptable,” Chorney said. “Farmers have been asking for better rail service basically since farming began on the Prairies, and now this situation underlines the fact that nothing has really changed.”

The four leaders also discussed oil and gas pipelines on farmland, pipeline abandonment, and oil and gas exploration on grain farms in northern B.C. Landowners rights are simply not being considered by companies involved.

The group is hopeful the Canadian Federation of Agriculture – their national farm umbrella organization – will be able to draw attention to this issue through its seat on the Land Matters Group (steering committee) of the National Energy Board, the organization that regulates oil and gas companies.

Other discussions by the farm leaders included the federal government’s refusal to work with stakeholders to keep the Indian Head, Saskatchewan tree nursery productive. Ottawa plans to close it at the end of December, despite the request of APAS, KAP, AFA, and other stakeholders – who developed a new business  model – to work with them in transitioning the nursery into a cost-recovery operation.

Country-of-origin labelling and its effects on beef and hog producers was also discussed, including support for the federal government in considering retaliatory trade actions.

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For further information:
Doug Chorney – 204-785-3626
Val Ominski, communications – 204-697-1140 (ext. 3)