Trans­porta­tion is­sues cost Saskatchew­an pro­duc­ers bil­lions

Farmer coali­tion seeks pro­ducer in­volve­ment in trans­porta­tion re­form

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - SUB­MIT­TED

Western grain pro­duc­ers lost an es­ti­mated $3.1 bil­lion in 2013-14 and could lose an ad­di­tional $2 bil­lion in 2014-15 be­cause of fail­ures in the trans­porta­tion and han­dling sys­tems. Given th­ese sig­nif­i­cant losses and other re­lated con­cerns, the coali­tion, which con­sists of Sask Pulse, Saskatchew­an Bar­ley De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion, Saskatchew­an Wheat De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion and Agri­cul­tural Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Saskatchew­an (APAS), sub­mit­ted pre­lim­i­nary rec­om­men­da­tions on the Canada Trans­porta­tion Act (CTA) re­view panel this morn­ing and is call­ing on other or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als to sub­mit com­ments be­fore a Dec. 31, dead­line.

“The grain han­dling and trans­porta­tion sys­tem has un­der­gone sub­stan­tial change. Rail­ways are cen- tral­iz­ing their ser­vices and plac­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments made by pro­duc­ers, short­lines and pro­ducer car load­ing sites at risk,” says Norm Hall, APAS Pres­i­dent and spokesper­son for the coali­tion.

“From the coali­tion’s per­spec­tive, if we are re­design­ing a trans­porta- tion sys­tem that is clearly not work­ing for pro­duc­ers, who is ac­tively look­ing after pro­duc­ers’ in­ter­ests?’

The coali­tion framed their rec­om­men­da­tions around four ob­jec­tives that in­clude fos­ter­ing com­pe­ti­tion, in­creas­ing mar­ket trans­parency, be­ing po­si­tioned for fu­ture growth, and en­sur­ing pro­duc­ers have a voice in the trans­porta­tion sys­tem. The rec­om­men­da­tions also call for a full rail­way cost­ing re­view to be made be­fore any ad­just­ments are made to the max­i­mum rev­enue en­ti­tle­ment pro­gram, a higher pri­or­ity placed on pro­ducer cars, and that the CTA cre­ate a rail over­sight group.

In­for­ma­tion about sub­mit­ting rec­om­men­da­tions on the Canada Trans­porta­tion Act Re­view can be found on the Gov­ern­ment’s web­site www. tc. gc. ca/ eng/ ctare­view2014/ canada- trans­porta­tion-act-re­view.html.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.