CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association has proposed four recommendations to fix the structural problems that have led to this year’s severe backlog in grain shipments. The Wheat Growers made their recommendations in a presentation today to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“There is no silver bullet here,” said Levi Wood, President of the Wheat Growers. “Fixing the problems in the supply chain is going to require action on several fronts.” The Wheat Grower recommendations are geared toward increasing rail shipping capacity for grain, strengthening competition in the rail sector, and improving system logistics. Proposed measures include:
- Introduction of an incentive-based adjustment to the revenue cap.
- Expand interswitching distances under which shippers can access a competing railway
- Strengthen the Canada Transportation Act to ensure shippers can negotiate contractual service agreements with the railways that include effective performance provisions.
- Taking steps to expand the shipment of oil by pipeline rather than by rail.
Further details on each of these recommendations is included in the attached backgrounder.
The Wheat Growers recognize the above package of measures represent medium to long-term solutions and do not specifically address the current backlog of rail shipments. The Wheat Growers look to the federal government to take whatever steps are necessary to encourage or compel the railways to immediately increase grain shipping capacity.
“We need immediate action to clear up the existing backlog of grain shipments,” says Wood. “Parliament must also tackle the structural problems that are limiting our industry’s ability to meet the needs of farmers and our customers.”
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Western Canadian 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.