Prime min­is­ter fail­ing west­ern grain farm­ers

Regina Leader-Post - - CITY + REGION -

A de­cline in rail­way ser­vice for the grain sec­tor has seen per­for­mance num­bers drop dra­mat­i­cally, re­sult­ing in the worst grain back­log in years. This back­log is putting con­tracts in jeop­ardy, caus­ing mount­ing de­mur­rage costs and dam­ag­ing Canada’s rep­u­ta­tion as a re­li­able grain ex­porter.

It is in­com­pre­hen­si­ble how the Lib­eral agri­cul­ture and trans­port min­is­ters have said time and again the crip­pling grain back­log is not a se­ri­ous prob­lem, even go­ing as far to say there’s no im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion for get­ting Cana­dian grain mov­ing again.

Canada’s Con­ser­va­tives rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of en­sur­ing Cana­dian farm­ers have ac­cess to a lo­gis­tics sys­tem that gets their com­modi­ties to mar­ket in a pre­dictable and timely way.

That is why when we were in gov­ern­ment, we im­me­di­ately re­sponded to chal­lenges fac­ing West­ern Canada’s rail ship­ping sys­tem by man­dat­ing min­i­mum grain vol­ume ship­ments from the rail­ways. We also in­tro­duced fines for non-com­pli­ance by pass­ing the Fair Rail for Grain Farm­ers Act and launch­ing an ex­pe­dited re­view of the Canada Trans­porta­tion Act.

By fail­ing to ex­tend or make per­ma­nent the pro­vi­sions of the Fair Rail for Grain Farm­ers Act, Justin Trudeau has al­lowed this dire sit­u­a­tion to go from bad to worse.

Time is of the essence. The prime min­is­ter must stop blam­ing oth­ers for Lib­eral mis­man­age­ment, stop de­fend­ing the rail du­op­oly, and take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to re­solve the grain back­log by hold­ing rail­ways ac­count­able for in­ad­e­quate ser­vice.

Luc Berthold and John Bar­low, Con­ser­va­tive shadow min­is­ters for agri­cul­ture and Kelly Block, Con­ser­va­tive shadow min­is­ter for trans­port

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