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Farmers Brace for Possible Rail Strike

Posted February 13, 2015

Under Economic Issues, Logistics & Supply Chain Issues

(Amanda Stephenson – Calgary Herald)

With a second union at Canadian Pacific Railway now warning its members could walk off the job by midnight Saturday, Alberta farm groups are raising alarm bells about the impact a rail strike could have on Prairie grain shipments. [...]

Alberta Barley Commission chair Mike Ammeter said farmers are monitoring the situation closely and hoping that if a strike can’t be averted, it will be short-lived.

“Like any other rail disruption, a day or two is probably not crucial. But if we see a stop in rail transportation for any prolonged length of time, the economic damage will be significant,” Ammeter said.

He added farmers have not yet recovered from last year, when one of the coldest winters on record forced CP and CN to run slower and shorter trains. That, combined with the sheer size of last year’s grain crop, led to a transportation backlog that is estimated to have cost Prairie farmers — who could not get their commodities to market in time to capitalize on last year’s high prices — $7 billion. Click here to read more.