OTTAWA — Fertilizer Canada says it’s pleased the Canadian Pacific Rail work stoppage has ended and for the attention federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan brought to this situation. But the industry group is disappointed that the trains ever ground to a halt in the first place and is calling on the government for a permanent solution to “problems within Canada’s supply chain.”
The impacts of CP’s two-day stoppage will be felt for weeks to come, according to the organization.
Fertilizer Canada points out in a press release that disruptions, such as work stoppages, jeopardize Canada’s position as a reliable trading partner while having devastating impacts on farmers, the economy, and food security in Canada and around the world.
Fertilizer Canada President & CEO Karen Proud notes that several other collective agreements will expire in 2022 and that Canada “cannot afford for these agreements to expire and another work stoppage to occur. It is now vital the federal government develop a long-term approach to fixing problems within the supply chain so Canada can continue to be a reliable trading partner.”
Rail is crucial to the transportation of Canadian fertilizer, domestically and internationally, and a work stoppage has crippling effects on the economy and agriculture sector, especially, during the crucial spring seeding season.
“Fertilizer is the most important input for crops grown in Canada and around the world, helping farmers produce maximum crop yields,” Proud said. “The agriculture sector is already experiencing supply challenges compounded by the war in Ukraine and needs assurance we will be able to get crucial fertilizer product without concern of work stoppages.”
Seventy-five per cent of all fertilizer produced and used in Canada moves by rail. Since 2019, Fertilizer Canada members have dealt with a strike at CN, the Port of Montreal and the latest event at CP. They require a transportation system that is not under threat of disruption every two years, according to the organization, which is also calling on the Canadian government to ensure that supplies of essential agricultural products move freely domestically and across the U.S. border.