Thursday, March 29, 2018

BC Transportation Minister takes concerns over rail transportation across Northern BC to federal counterpart

A lack of freight cars and delays
in shipments are raising concerns
across Northern BC's transportation system
Bruce Ralston has been in a letter writing frame of mind this week, with BC's Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology taking concerns from across the Northwest about a chronic shortage of freight cars to the Federal Transportation Minister.

In a letter to Marc Garneau, Mr. Ralston provided an overview of the problems that are being found in British Columbia, reviewing many of the troubles that CN Rail has had this winter and now into the Spring in meeting customer demand.

“The impact of unreliable, and inadequate, rail service extends far beyond grain producers in northern B.C., ... “Lumber mills and other industries, from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, are also being seriously impacted by the lack of rail service.”

The BC Minister has asked his Federal counterpart to work with Chambers of Commerce across Northern British Columbia to develop plans for improving oversight and performance of Canadian Nationals Rail system across the region.

“Minister Garneau needs to convey that the Prairie backlog at CN Rail is having a detrimental impact on northern B.C. families and businesses ... “Companies looking to invest in northern B.C. communities are understandably discouraged from doing so because of the risk and uncertainty caused by CN Rail’s unreliable service, “While the recent apology from CN is an important acknowledgement of how serious the situation has become, longer-term solutions need to be found.”

Jean Jacques Ruest delivered an apology to customers shortly after taking on duties as Interim President at the start of this month, that in the wake of growing outrage from farmers and other suppliers across Western Canada.

Mr. Ralston is not the first politician to take pen to paper on the issue, as we outlined earlier this month, the Federal Government expressed their growing concern over the ongoing issues with the railways through a letter penned by Transportation Minister Marc Garneau and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

CN's struggles have had some significant effects on Prince Rupert Grain and the DP World Container Port at Fairview Bay through this winter, leaving grain ships sitting at anchorage awaiting shipments and at times leaving the container port to see occasional vessel redirections to Vancouver.

Grain Shipment delays the latest concern for users of Prince Rupert Port facilities
CN facing heat from customers, suppliers and investors over service delays

You can review some of CN's season of woe from our archive page here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment