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March 2020

CPA urges immediate action on rail blockades

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The backlogs from the illegal rail blockades will continue to affect the propane industry for many weeks or even months. The CPA continues to work on this issue, now urging the priority of propane deliveries on the CN rail line.

Over the past few weeks, the CPA has undertaken several activities to express the industry’s need for an immediate resolution. These activities included:

  • Almost daily contact with Natural Resources Canada to relay the impacts the blockade is having on Eastern Canada. The message to NRCan: if the situation is not resolved as soon as possible, a significant impact would be felt by thousands of Canadians who rely on propane as an essential, primary source of energy, creating a serious situation that could leave many without a source of heat in the winter. It was also stressed that for every day the blockade continues, it will be a five-day recovery period.
  • Contacting Minister Garneau’s office on February 26 to impress upon him that work needs to continue to get propane moving as soon as possible and that it will be weeks, even months, before the backlog disappears.
  • Requesting the Federal and the Ontario governments consider granting propane suppliers exemptions to the Hours of Service. 
  • Collaborating with 30 other industry groups to issue a joint letter to the Prime Minister to work with the provinces/territories, Indigenous leaders and law enforcement to bring an end to the infrastructure blockades.
  • Writing to Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Chair of the Council of Federation, to describe the consequences of the blockade on Canadians and a call for an immediate resolution.
  • Issuing an update to the federal government on February 16, following a request they made to comment on inventory levels determined by the effectiveness of contingency measures.
  • Sending a templated letter to members to write to their local federal and provincial government representatives.
  • Implementing a  social media campaign to present the facts of how the blockades were not just an “inconvenience.” Campaign is ongoing - members are encouraged to amplify these important messages by liking, sharing and tweeting them on your own social media accounts as well as posting your own messaging, using the #SolutionsNow hashtag.
  • Conducting numerous interviews with media, including submitting an Op-ed that was published in the Montreal Gazette.
 

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