OTTAWA, MAY 25 – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) stresses the importance of an immediate settlement on the labour dispute at the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).
“Representing the interests of Canadian farmers, the CFA urges all parties to move towards a settlement as soon as possible. Grain farmers have orders to fill around the world and rely heavily on the railways to get their product to the market. There’s eight weeks left to ship grain out, and each week jeopardizes 20% of their crop, which not only significantly affects farmers’ income, but could also result in weakening our reputation and future sales abroad as buyers move to other sources. This is bound to have a serious affect on the Canadian economy, as Canada is the second largest exporter of grain worldwide -an important cornerstone of our economy,” commented Humphrey Banack, CFA Vice-President.
The Canadian Wheat Board estimated that the strike will delay approximately 162,000 tonnes of grain shipments to its buyers, resulting in waiting ships and penalties for late deliveries – all added costs to farmers. Moreover, after August 1 there is a mandatory freight fee increase. The longer this strike continues, the more likely it is farmers will have to ship during this more costly period.
“While the CFA recognizes the right to strike can be part of a fair process, we would like all parties involved to also consider the interests of Canadian farmers and the role their product sales play in our economy and reputation internationally,” Banack concluded.