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Premier Appoints Delegation to Address Grain Transportation

Released on February 12, 2014

Delegation of Cabinet Ministers and MLA to Meet With Grain Companies This Week

Premier Brad Wall has appointed Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart, Economy Minister Bill Boyd, Highways and Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris and Legislative Secretary to the Agriculture Minister MLA Scott Moe to work on behalf of Saskatchewan producers to deal with the backlog of grain movement.

“This grain movement backlog is a very serious situation for the entire province and it is a high priority for our government,” Wall said.  “The delays in moving grain have led to lower prices for our producers at the farmgate and are harming our reputation as a reliable supplier of agriculture products throughout the world.  We want every possible avenue explored to ensure our producers have the ability to market and deliver their grain in a timely manner.”

The delegation will meet with representatives of the major grain companies this week to discuss the challenges they are facing in moving grain and potential solutions.  In addition, they will also raise the issue of producer contracts, lower grain prices (as a result of the historically wide basis levels) and encourage all of the grain companies to pursue level of service contracts with the railways through the Federal Fair Rail Freight Service Act.

The province will continue to pressure the federal government to ensure improved grain movement remains their top priority.  The provincial government is encouraged by recent federal enhancements to the Grain Monitoring Program, which will improve the frequency of reporting information about the grain handling and transportation system.  If the situation does not improve, the provincial government will recommend potential legislative action to ensure all stakeholders throughout the supply chain are held accountable and encouraged to facilitate the increased movement of grain.

Meetings will also continue with the rail companies to discuss ongoing capacity issues and challenges.  The delegation will urge the railways to implement short term measures to clear up the current backlog of grain, including adding crews, cars and locomotive capacity as necessary.  In addition, railways will also be encouraged to implement long term plans for the future as it is anticipated large crops will become the new norm.  This includes taking measures to ensure surge capacity and improved planning for weather challenges.

Working with producers and industry associations will continue to be a top priority to ensure the concerns of producers are at the forefront of all discussions.

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For more information, contact:

Karen Hill
Executive Council
Regina
Phone: 306-787-2127
Cell: 306-529-9207

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