Saskatchewan producers, economy hurt by lack of Sask. Party support for grain transportation

Saskatchewan NDP is joining with producers across the province in calling on the Sask. Party to finally act to clear the railway bottlenecks that have been making it harder for producers to get their grain to market and hurting the Saskatchewan economy.

“I’ve heard from producers throughout the province who see this as a major problem, and they can’t afford to have the Sask. Party stand as idle as the grain they’re refusing to help get moving,” said Agriculture Critic Carla Beck. “This is the same Sask. Party that refused to hold the Federal Government to account in 2014 when farmers were struggling to get their bumper crop to market. We can’t afford the Sask. Party’s inaction and ineffectiveness again.”

Over half of the hopper-car orders placed with Canada's two largest rail companies went unfilled in the second week of February. Adding to issues in grain transportation is the closure of producer car loading sites. In 2005, there were 79 loading sites on CP Rail lines in Saskatchewan, but the cuts have meant that there will be no more than 26.

In their budget, the Sask. Party sold off Saskatchewan’s grain cars without asking permission of the owners – the people of Saskatchewan. And, the Sask. Party failed to take any meaningful action when CP Rail announced they would be shutting down at least 10 producer car-loading sites in Saskatchewan. Whether it’s license plates, a federally-imposed carbon tax, or standing up for Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry, it is clear that the Sask. Party has lost all credibility with other governments and are failing to protect Saskatchewan families and businesses.

“On important matters such as getting grain to market, failing to act is failing our producers and failing Saskatchewan,” Beck said. “Producers already have to deal with the stress of harsh and temperamental weather in Saskatchewan, they shouldn’t have to face the stress of having their hard earned crop sit in bins while the bills pile up.”