Wednesday, 15 April 2015 13:49

Grain transportation by railways can be a difficult process

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When shipping grain, many farmers express disappointment with the current rail service.  
About 1998, the railways awarded the shipping of other products priority over the movement of grain.
An agency working on behalf of farmers, estimated how much farmers lost due to the lack of service.
A court case decided farmers should be compensated for their financial loss. In losing the case, CP Rail ended up paying a hefty fine on top of its share of the damages. CN Rail grudgingly paid its share.
After this happened, with the Canadian Wheat Board the watch dog, grain movement went relatively smoothly. Since the Canadian Wheat Board was dissolved, farmers and grain shippers report mega problems obtaining rail cars.
The federal Minister of Agriculture endorsed regulations to get the railways moving grain more efficiently.
Why, even with these regulations, is poor service the norm for Saskatchewan farmers? Were the regulations designed by the railways for their financial benefit? Was the Minister of Agriculture afraid the railways would have him fired if he did not approve the regulations?
Lorne Jackson, Riverhurst, Sask.

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