CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - March 7, 2014) - Alberta Barley is confident that today's announcement by the federal government will begin to address the rail transportation issue in a tangible and practical way.
"The measures enacted by the federal government are a positive first step," said Alberta Barley Chairman Matt Sawyer. "With legislation in place, we finally have clear and achievable solutions to get our grain moving again."
Federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz announced today that Canada's railway companies (Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Canadian National Railway Co.) will face penalties going forward of up to $100,000 per day for failing to ship one million metric tonnes of grain per week. The railways are also required to report to the Minister of Transport on weekly shipments.
The federal government's measures are the first step in ensuring Canada's agriculture industry meets commitments to domestic and international buyers.
"We see rail transportation as a nation-building issue," added Sawyer. "Farmers and industry need long-term solutions to solve our country's transportation problems. This is a first step, but we encourage the federal government and the railways to look at permanent solutions. Otherwise, Canada's reputation for being able to feed a hungry world is at stake."
Canada is currently the world's fifth largest agri-food exporter. Farmers rely on a reliable transportation system to get their crops to market.