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Grain supply chain returning to normal: government


OTTAWA, Ont.– Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said that the Government of Canada will not renew its requirement for Canadian National Railway (CN) Company and Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) to transport minimum volumes of grain by rail after the current Order in Council expires on March 28, 2015.

A year ago, the government took the unprecedented step of mandating volume requirements for moving grain by rail to protect Canada’s farmers and maintain its reputation as a reliable grain shipper. As a result, Canada’s overall grain exports have improved and the projected carry-out going into this new crop year is within the average range historically.

Mandatory volume requirements continue to be an option if the grain supply chain compromises farmers’ livelihoods, the economy or Canada’s international reputation as a reliable shipper, the government stated.

The Government of Canada “is encouraging CP and CN to continue to address shipper specific issues so shippers across Canada can grow and build their businesses.”

“I am pleased that the government’s action requiring minimum volumes had its intended effect and that the movement of grain by rail is once again running at a rate that contributes to strong economic growth. We look forward to continuing to work with both shippers and producers to ensure that the efficiency of the supply chain continues to improve, contributing to the country’s long term economic growth,” said Lisa Raitt, Transport Minister.

“Our government took decisive action to protect Canada’s farmers, our economy and our international reputation as a reliable exporter. The order in council has done its job and can be reinstated if required. Our Government will continue to monitor performance and encourages the full supply chain to be more collaborative in the long run,” said
Gerry Ritz, Agriculture Minister.

The government is also announcing that more grain monitoring statistics are now publically available. Today, a summary of the grain volume shipped by rail from August 2014 to January 2015 is available on the Grain Monitor’s website and new weekly and monthly reports will also be posted at www.grainmonitor.ca.

With government support, the Ag Transport Coalition is now reporting by corridor on weekly rail car supply to help individual shippers make business decisions. The government, with input from the Crop Logistics Working Group and the Ag Transport Coalition, will review the Grain Monitor Program before the new crop year to determine how more effective data can be collected to find efficiencies in the supply chain.

The government said it “remains committed to promoting economic growth by opening up and maintaining markets around the world, and looks forward to receiving, before the end of the year, the Canada Transportation Act review recommendations that will help inform long-term supply chain improvements,” it said.