CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - March 10, 2014) - The Barley Council of Canada (BCC) supports the measures announced last Friday by the federal government to address the rail transportation issue.
"We are confident in the government's decision to act quickly," said BCC Chair Brian Otto. "The rail transportation issue has and will continue to negatively impact the bottom line for farmers and for our country. This announcement is a good first step to get our transportation back on track."
Federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz announced Friday 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.
Canada is currently the world's fifth largest agri-food exporter in the world. Farmers across the country are dependent on a strong, effective and efficient national railway system.
The federal government's measures are the first-step in ensuring Canada's agriculture industry meets commitments to domestic and international buyers.
"Canada's economic stability depends on our ability to meet market demand. We have a responsibility to respond to the growing demand for Canadian barley and other agri-food products," said Otto. "This is a good first-step, but we urge the government and the railways to look at long- term solutions that address this as a national economic security issue."