‘Perfect storm’ hits grain movement

The blockade of CN rail lines by Indigenous-rights protesters has contributed to “a perfect storm” affecting grain movement this winter, say Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley.

“An eight-day CN rail strike in late November, followed by a 10-day cold spell in January and heavy rains impacting rail movement and the loading of grain vessels at the Port of Vancouver have already hampered grain shipping in Western Canada this winter,” the commissions said.

As of Feb. 9, 39 ships were waiting to load at Vancouver and eight more at Prince Rupert.

“We are still recovering from the harvest from hell and need reliable grain movement in order to get back on track,” said Alberta Barley chair Dave Bishop.

The delays “also hurt Canada’s reputation as a reliable grain supplier,” said Alberta Wheat chair Todd Hames.

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