The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) has flagged several concerns facing the agriculture sector. The movement of grain has drastically slowed in the prairies, the Government of India has placed high tariffs on pulses that negatively impact Canadian producers, and Bill C-49 still has not received Royal Assent.
“Every winter we urge the railways to move as much grain as they can to avoid damaging rural municipal infrastructure, yet almost every winter the railways have issues and grain is backlogged until spring,” President Orb explained. “Within weeks, road bans will be in place on many provincial and municipal roadways and hauling excessive amounts of grain will inflict further damage on a rural transportation system that already needs repair.”
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“I have spoken with some producers who haven’t moved any grain since harvest and this is very concerning,” said SARM President Ray Orb, “The situation is eerily reminiscent of the backlog experienced in 2013-14 which was a disaster for producers.”
SARM is disappointed that the Prime Minister’s trip to India did not resolve the trade issues with India. SARM continues to urge the Government of Canada and the Senate of Canada for a resolution to the Indian tariffs and that Bill C-49 receive Royal Assent as soon as possible.
“When you consider the impacts of not moving grain, the high tariffs from India and the stalling of Bill C-49, things are looking bleak for producers as they are hit the hardest. It is imperative that the federal government to do more to address these issues.” said Orb.
More on SARM’s work on the Canada Transportation Act review
Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Media release – February 23, 2018