CALGARY, AB: Grain exports are a major part of the Canadian economy. In addition to being critical to farmers, who don’t get paid if grain doesn’t get sold – grain is one of Canada’s key exports. That’s especially the case now with the war in Ukraine and tightened global supply.
The Cascadia Terminal in Vancouver is a major port for grain exports. However, before that grain can be exported, it needs to be inspected. That happens at the port. The Wheat Growers Association was stunned to learn that striking federal workers had intentionally targeted that port for disruption.
Wheat Growers president, Gunter Jochum, commented on the strike action, saying, “a strike is one thing, but to intentionally target a port that is critical to the lives of grain farmers and to the entire Canadian economy is the height of reckless irresponsibility. It’s time for the federal government to intervene. The Wheat Growers are calling on the federal government to immediately amend the Canada Grain Act to authorize third party weighing and inspection of vessels leaving Canadian waters. Let’s get grain moving and protect our sector.”
Inspection and weighing services would be performed by third parties already working at the ports. They are there already because many overseas customers demand inspection by an independent third party. These third parties could easily be accredited to perform those services and simply audited by a government agency on a regular basis. This is what is happening in many other countries. Canadian farmers pay over $60 million per year to have CGC staff inspect their grain. 70% of the vessels leaving this country only require third party results; Canadian farmers are unnecessarily paying for a double inspection.
It’s time to protect critical export transactions and allow Canadian farmers to compete internationally without antiquated inspection rules and the threat of strike disruption.
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information please visit: wheatgrowers.ca. Click here to see who is helping to advocate for grain farmers.