March 17, 2020, OTTAWA – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is concerned about the potential effects that the impending strike by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference against Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) would have on Canadian farmers and the food supply chain.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is Canada’s largest farmers’ organization, representing approximately 200,000 Canadian farm families from coast to coast to coast. These farmers are reliant on railway transportation for a variety of crucial aspects of their operations, most notably access to critical farm inputs as they enter seeding season for many farm businesses and the ability to get their products to domestic and international markets. Both of these are vital to maintaining Canada’s reputation as a reliable source of quality agri-food products to consumers in Canada and around the world.
“Farmers have already weathered a series of disruptions to Canada transportation networks over the past few years, not to mention the current issues arising from supply chain disruptions and COVID-19,” said Keith Currie, CFA Vice-President.
“We respect every person’s right to strike and the collective bargaining process, but farmers can ill-afford yet another disruption to our transportation networks. We urge those involved to come to an immediate resolution to these negotiations so serious consequences that can arise from this strike are avoided.”
At a time where there is significant global disruptions in the flow of goods, this labour disruption would directly damage Canada’s capacity to act as reliable source agricultural products to global consumers. These disruptions to transportation will also have more immediate negative impacts on animal welfare. Disruptions such as this can reverberate and have consequences throughout the entire food supply chain, as Canadians have seen over the past few years.
CFA urges the Government of Canada to employ every available mechanism to ensure that these negotiations come to a rapid and successful conclusion.