For Immediate Release
SARM Showing Support for Hudson Bay Route Association
On July 25th, 2016 Omnitrax announced that it would no longer be shipping grain out of the Port of Churchill. This news carries a negative tone as the prairie crops for 2016 are anticipated to be near record levels; meaning that a reliable and efficient grain transportation system will continue to be a high priority. Omnitrax’s announcement certainly does not ensure confidence in the transportation system.
The Hudson Bay Route Association is requesting support from stakeholders in their endeavours to re-open for the 2016 shipping season and to implement long term solutions that will ensure the efficiency and sustainability of the Port of Churchill. The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is in full support of the Hudson Bay Route Association’s efforts to resolve this situation.
“The Port of Churchill provides strategic arctic access to the Atlantic Ocean and international markets, in the event that grain shipments are no longer accepted, that will further strain an already pressured grain transportation system” said SARM President Ray Orb. SARM has concerns over the potential of added costs to producers getting their grain to market and an increase in bottlenecks in the Port of Vancouver due to potential near record crop production. This may create situations similar to the transportation issues producers faced in the recent past.
SARM will be asking to meet with the Provincial and Federal Agriculture Ministers to discuss the implications of the Port of Churchchill’s sudden closure and what options are available. “It is important that all stakeholders come together on this issue to ensure that the crops continue to get to market and customer’s demands are met” said President Orb.
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