Category: Logistics

Update: MPs to send C-49 back to the Senate again, after next week’s break

Updated, May 11: The Liberals in the House of Commons have indicated they will reject the Senate’s two latest amendments, sending the bill back to the Senate, however a vote won’t be held before May 22nd.  The back-and-forth between the House of Commons and the Senate over Bill C-49 continues, as the Senate on Wednesday… Read more »

C-49 taking the long route, headed back through the Senate

The grain industry will likely have to wait at least a few more weeks for passage of Bill C-49, the federal legislation containing new rules pertaining to rail transportation. The House of Commons passed Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s motion to accept only 10 of the Senate’s 19 amendments to the Bill C-49 on Thursday, sending… Read more »

Transport minister accepts Senate’s grain-related amendments to Bill C-49

The scoop: Transport Minister Marc Garneau has decided to accept the Senate’s main grain-related amendments to Bill C-49 — the government’s long-awaited transportation legislation. Farm groups are applauding the minister’s decision, while urging MPs and Senators to agree on the amendments and to pass the bill before the summer break. The story: Farm groups are… Read more »

Liberals missing out on an easy win by not ratifying CPTPP

Canada signed its name on the dotted line at the CPTPP signing ceremony in Chile on March 6th, 2018. But unfortunately, agriculture and other interested parties cannot afford to take pressure off the government. The deal will take effect when six of the eleven participating countries have ratified it. So if Canada drags its feet… Read more »

Northgate facility provides an alternative to Canadian rail system

As the home of the only grain-handling facility in Canada that has direct, high-speed service from a U.S. railroad, the commodity logistics hub at Northgate, Saskatchewan, gives its owner a unique position in the Western Canadian grain industry — and a unique view of the current grain backlog. Opened in 2016, Ceres Global Ag’s facility,… Read more »

CP Rail averts strike, with unions to vote on latest offer

A strike by around 3,400 conductors, engineers and signal maintainers who work for Canadian Pacific Railway has been averted, at least temporarily. Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Train & Engine (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) would have walked off the job starting after midnight on Saturday morning. Instead, TCRC and IBEW… Read more »

Farm groups asking Ottawa to intervene in looming rail strike

Prairie grain farmers are urging the federal government to take action to prevent workers with CP Rail from going on strike as early as this weekend. A strike now would only add to the problems with grain movement this crop year. Around 3,000 conductors and engineers who are members in the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, as… Read more »

CP warns looming strike would “severely impact” rail service

Update, as of Wednesday: Both unions have served CP Rail with 72-hour strike notice, clearing the way for a strike to begin after midnight on Saturday morning. When asked on Tuesday whether the federal government would consider back-to-work legislation, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he’s following the situation closely: “Remember that we are a party… Read more »

Cargill expands rail-loading capacity at Lethbridge

Cargill has committed $20 million towards expansion of its rail loading facilities at its Lethbridge, AB, location. The company says the expansion will more than double loading capacity at the facility for grain moving towards the West Coast. Construction is set to be complete by mid-way through this year’s harvest, the company says. “The industry standard… Read more »

Announced high speed rail will split farms in half, isolate rural communities

Last week, the Ontario government formally announced the blueprint for bringing high speed rail (HSR) to southern Ontario. The $11 billion line item in last month’s election-ready budget would see Phase One connect London and Toronto by 2025, according to the province. The proposed HSR line would eventually run all the way to Windsor for… Read more »

Grain movement picking up, as first ship arrives at Thunder Bay

The numbers show grain movement has started to improve in Western Canada in the last few weeks, but it’s up for debate how much credit should go to the railways for their internal actions; the government for increasing its scrutiny; or, simply the warmer temperatures and the arrival of spring. The rail backlog this winter… Read more »

Railways should pay demurrage fees, says APAS president

The president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan says railways should have to cover the cost of having ships wait in port for delayed grain shipments. Todd Lewis has written a letter to Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay calling for CN and CP to pay demurrage charges caused by rail… Read more »

Senate approves rail bill amendments requested by farm groups

Update, March 29: Bill C-49 passed third reading in the Senate on Thursday afternoon, sending the bill, with the Senate’s amendments, back to the House of Commons for MPs to consider after the two-week Easter break. The Senate transport committee has approved several changes to Bill C-49 that had been requested by farm groups. After… Read more »

G3 announces two new elevators, including first in Alberta

G3 Canada has confirmed plans to build two new elevators, including the company’s first grain terminal in Alberta. Construction is expected to begin next month on 42,000 tonne facilities south of Wetaskiwin in central Alberta, and near Maidstone, Saskatchewan. “We’re excited to be able to show farmers in the Wetaskiwin and Maidstone areas what G3… Read more »

MPs hear from grain groups and railways in emergency meeting on backlog

After a two-week break for MPs, the House of Commons agriculture committee reconvened for an emergency meeting to discuss the grain backlog in Western Canada on Monday. The meeting included presentations from both CN and CP Rail, as well as witnesses representing almost a dozen farm groups and grain shipping companies (see list below). Former… Read more »