Producer cars withering – farm group calls for open access to terminal elevators

(Regina, July 16, 2013) Recent numbers obtained by the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance (CWBA) show that producer car shipments are down by almost 40% from last year.*  “This means farmers have lost at least five million dollars ” noted Bill Gehl, chairperson of the CWBA.

“Clearly the private sector is exercising its control over port facilities to undermine both Ritz’s crippled grain company that was cobbled together from the Wheat Board and the access farmers once had to port facilities and that is why we are calling for new regulations to change this” said Gehl.

“Many prairie farmers and their communities have made substantial investments in producer car loading facilities including short line railways and have benefited from this infrastructure.  Now we see the economic base of those operations withering with the end of the single desk Canadian Wheat Board.”

Producer car shipping facilities represent western farmers’ solution to the loss of cooperative grain elevators to private interests.  “When the Harper government introduced legislation eliminating the single desk Canadian Wheat Board Agriculture Minister Ritz poured scorn on the concern that without the access to port terminals provided by the single desk Wheat Board, producer cars would be at risk.  These numbers show Minister Ritz was wrong” concluded Gehl.

* Producer cars to:
July 10, 2013:    8,487
July 10, 2012:  13,038

Source:  Canadian Grain Commission

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