Prov­ince is tak­ing steps to ad­dress grain trans­porta­tion

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION -

To the edi­tor: I am writ­ing in re­sponse to re­cent com­ments from NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wother­spoon re­gard­ing the cur­rent grain trans­porta­tion chal­lenges.

The sug­ges­tion we have been dis­mis­sive of pro­duc­ers’ strug­gles to move their grain to mar­ket is false. Ad­dress­ing the grain trans­porta­tion chal­lenges that Saskatchew­an pro­duc­ers are fac­ing has been, and continues to be, a top pri­or­ity for our provin­cial govern­ment and me.

We have been work­ing on this file for months, while the NDP just now are rais­ing this is­sue to score some cheap po­lit­i­cal points on the backs of our farm­ers. Since last fall, we have met with the rail­roads and grain com­pa­nies nu­mer­ous times. And while the NDP, with no un­der­stand­ing of the sit­u­a­tion, now think they have the an­swer to the prob­lem with joint run­ning rights, we know this will not solve the prob­lem.

Pre­mier Wall re­cently ap­pointed Min­is­ter Boyd, Min­is­ter McMor­ris, MLA Scott Moe and I to meet with the grain com­pa­nies to ad­vo­cate for in­creased en­gage­ment. We will also con­tinue to meet with the rail­ways to urge them to im­me­di­ately mo­bi­lize and put additional re­sources in place to move more grain to port. As well we will con­tinue to raise this is­sue with the federal govern­ment to en­sure grain move­ment re­mains a federal pri­or­ity. We will con­tinue to raise the pro­file of poor rail ser­vice to a level that can­not be ig­nored by the rail­ways.

The NDP spent 16 years in govern­ment ig­nor­ing farm­ers and ranch­ers and left our in­fra­struc­ture in ru­ral Saskatchew­an in de­plorable con­di­tion. We won’t be tak­ing any lessons from Mr. Wother­spoon and the NDP on agri­cul­ture.

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