Media Releases Feb 12, 2020

Letter to Minister Bains and Minister Garneau: Rail service must be restored immediately

Hon. Marc Garneau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Transport
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON

Hon. Navdeep Bains, P.C, M.P.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, ON

Dear Ministers:

I am writing to you today regarding the blockades occurring across Canada to ask your government to work with the provinces and law enforcement agencies to bring an end to the ongoing disruptions of public services and particularly to restore all rail services immediately.

In addition to preventing access to public transportation for tens of thousands of individual Canadians, these disruptions severely limit the movement of perishable foods and other consumer items, grain, construction materials and propane for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is deeply concerned about the damage to the Canadian economy, the unfair denial of access to transportation services for Canadian citizens, and the undermining of the rule of law.

These illegal blockades, which also affect the movement of natural resources like timber, aluminum, coal and oil, will take an increasing toll if the government does not act decisively to restore order.

Factories and mines may soon face difficult decisions about their ability to continue operations, and the damage to Canadian supply chains will extend beyond our borders and harm our reputation as a stable partner in international trade.

A rail disruption of this magnitude constitutes an emergency for the Canadian economy. On behalf of the 200,000 businesses represented by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, we urge the government to act without further delay.

The Hon. Perrin Beatty, PC, OC,
President and Chief Executive Officer