Farmers are greeted with two more negative occurrences in an already fragmented and increasingly hostile grain handling and rail system.
“The Canadian Grain Commission has closed its Winnipeg Service Centre, no doubt because of the elimination of federal funding for the CGC,” stated Ed Sagan, NFU Region 6 (Saskatchewan) Coordinator. “The Centre provided a testing lab to serve farmers. Now, with expert employees laid off and all the grain samples are being diverted to Weyburn, backlogs and delays are sure to happen. And Gerry Ritz likes to say his government is farmer-friendly. What a joke!” he declared.
Ian Robson, NFU Region 5 (Manitoba) Coordinator commented, “In addition to the CGC closure, now we have the CP Railway closing down two producer car loading sites in Manitoba, which will make it more expensive for us to ship our grain.”
Farmers use their right to load producer cars to access grain transportation services and save money, explains Robson. “It acts as a competitive alternative to excess grain handling charges. The right to access producer cars may still exist, but without loading sites within a reasonable distance of their farms, the right is totally hollow,” he stated.
“When the right to producer cars was created, ten farmers could get together and petition the railways to build a siding. This made the right effective,” noted Robson. “Now the railways can close sites and farmers have no recourse. This is just another example of how Ritz’s farmer-friendly rhetoric is utterly empty.” He concluded, “Ritz could do something positive for farmers in this regard if he was a better friend to farmers than he is to the railways and grain companies.”
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For further information, please contact:
Ed Sagan, NFU Region 6 (Saskatchewan) Coordinator: (306) 728-3760 or 728-9050
Ian Robson, NFU Region 5 (Manitoba) Coordinator: (204) 858-2479