The recent release of the David Emerson report on grain transportation raises some red flags for agricultural producers and Saskatchewan’s government.
The review has raised the issue of Maximum Rail Entitlements (MREs) being ended. MREs are not a perfect solution to the cost of transporting Saskatchewan’s agricultural products, but at least costs are known to everyone in the system.
“The government of Saskatchewan needs to be very firm on a couple of other issues moving forward before discussing MREs “ said PC Party Leader, Rick Swenson.
“There has not been a full costing review conducted on rail transportation of agricultural products since 1993. This is a must in order to have a meaningful discussion on any proposed changes.”
“The costing review will provide the data to then arrive at designing reciprocal penalty agreements between shippers and carriers” said Swenson.
This step by step process is necessary to protect groups like Saskatchewan’s short line railroads and their producer car loading farmers from being gouged on rates or discriminated against on car deliveries.
Swenson concluded “Saskatchewan Agriculture is carrying our economy these days so Premier Wall had best stay home and pay attention. He must demand the Federal Government follow this line of reasoning on developing new policies for grain transportation. PC candidates and future PC MLAs will be driving this message home during the election campaign and in the Saskatchewan legislature. Saskatchewan’s future cannot be left in the hands of CN and CP rail.”
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