Falk: Liberals leave farmers in the dust

By Roger White
March 5, 2018 - 10:00am Updated: March 5, 2018 - 10:39am

There’s a new voice calling on the federal government to support grain farmers in the province and resolve the issue of the grain crisis that could cost the industry billions of dollars.

At issue is a serious shortage of railcars from both Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) to help move crops to market.

Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Rosemarie Falk said the Trudeau government has turned its back on the farmers on the issue and something needs to be done soon as time is of the essence.

“We have this grain backlog on the rails they are doing absolutely nothing about,” Falk said. “I really feel the government is leaving farmers in the dust.”

In 2013-2014 a similar grain crisis cost the economy an estimated $8 billion and was resolved after the then-Conservative government passed an order-in council forcing both CP and CN  to double the amount of grain shipped or face significant fines.

“The government needs to step in and get this grain moving,” Falk added. “We will soon have road bans in place so we won’t be able to get our grain to the markets that way and then it will be time to seed.”

The current hold up is with the Senate. Bill C-49 would allow the government to address the issue however those issues are tied to separate provisions with the air passenger bill of rights and in doing so has caused the senate to stall the bill.

“It’s time for Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay to pull his socks up and demand the rail lines to start hauling grain,” Falk said.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture Ron Bonnett said the inability to move grain to market is “eroding the credibility of the industry.”

Both MacAuley and Transport Minister Marc Garneau have said that they have urged the Senate to pass the bill to avoid any further delays.


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