Rail shipping is a critical service in the global supply chains of Canadian businesses and, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the economy is suffering every day that the current rail blockages continue.
CME is calling on the federal government to restore rail service in Canada.
“The federal government must work with the provinces to put an end to the blockages. For every additional day that the blockage continues, approximatively $425 million worth of manufactured goods that are usually carried by rail are sitting idle,” said Dennis Darby, president & CEO of CME.
He says manufactured goods account for nearly half of all rail car loadings in Canada, and the negative impacts of the interruptions are being felt throughout the supply chain. For every day that rail service is blocked, it will take three to four days to make up for the lost time.
In a press release, CME says manufacturers will have no choice but to start halting production and laying off workers because these companies are not getting the materials they need.
“As an industry, Canada exports well over 60 per cent of its pork and its total pork exports were over $4.2B in 2019 and the pork value chain in Canada employs over 50,000 Canadians,” said Curtis Frank, president and chief operating officer at Maple Leaf Foods. “The Canadian industry, our company, and the people that we employ are deeply dependent on an efficient rail system to support and to sustain our viability. We urge the Canadian government to work with urgency and to take action now to prevent further harm beyond the damage that is being done each day that this blockade continues.”
Darby and Frank were joined by other several other industrial executives in calling for a swift end to the blockades, including Ian Anderson, president of CKF Inc., Mary Keith, vice-president, of communications at J.D. Irving Ltd., and Todd Karran, CEO of Nova chemicals.
“Canadians benefit from highly reliable rail infrastructure and on being an attractive place to invest. Maintaining a reputation of stability, adherence to the rule of law and having efficient infrastructure is critical to Canada’s long-term employment and investment competitiveness,” said Karran.