FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – MLA of Peace River North, Dan Davies, sent a letter to the minister of jobs, economic recovery, trade and innovation and the minister of transportation and infrastructure regarding the shortage of CN rail cars.
Davies asked the ministers, Ravi Kahlon and Rob Fleming, to speak to their federal counterparts, to increase transportation services to the Peace River region so businesses and industries don’t lose any more than they already have.
The shortage has led to stranded inventory, companies curtailing or completely shutting down operations, and companies laying employees off or firing them.
Davies says that producers have an excess of products that they cannot ship, which is continuing to affect supply chains.
“Buyers are hesitant to reorder until they receive their current shipments.”
He continues by saying that the industries of the Peace River and Northern Rockies regions rely on CN Rail to ship products; therefore, it is essential that the rail lines remain open and fully maintained.
Davies lists the impacts of the lack of rail cars, including the Canfor Group curtailing production at their facilities due to the buildup of inventory in December 2021.
In February 2022, the Taylor Pulp Mill operations were curtailed for six weeks, and Davies says it usually puts out 70 cars per week but has slowed to seventeen.
In April of 2022, the Taylor Pulp Mills hours were reduced again for four weeks.
Davies also mentions conversations with Louisiana Pacific and North Pine Farmers Institute about the struggle to get rail cars and the shortage of rail cars.
He talks about the job loss in the Peace River region and how it affects B.C.
“Insufficient rail service creates trickle-down issues, which affect a substantial number of people in Peace River North, as well as in the rest of B.C.”
The full letter can be viewed below:
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