Calgary, AB | The Wheat Growers Association is calling upon the Government of Canada to ensure the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) employees within the PSAC union return to work immediately. As noted in a letter to Minister Bibeau, the Wheat Growers request the Government of Canada prepare a contingency plan for the anticipated strike.
A strike causing a slowing or stoppage of grain movement from Canadian ports will have a massive impact on the entire grain industry, especially farmers. According to Wheat Growers President Gunter Jochum, “Farmers need to continue to deliver last years’ crop before spring seeding to run their businesses and purchase inputs for the 2023 crop. A stoppage would be devastating to the industry, and ultimately to consumers.”
Any disruption in the supply chain will also cause a backlog of vessels that are currently enroute to Canadian ports, adding additional penalties to the industry which will be incurred even after a strike is settled.
As stated prior to the strike to Minister Bibeau, we are calling on the government to grant immediate exemptions for third-party service providers to ensure inspections continue and vessels are loaded and released to the customer. Based on customer demands, approximately 70% of Canadian grain is currently inspected by both CGC and third parties, calling into question the double inspection costs alone of over $60 million annually to farmers. With efficiencies paramount in any business, is it time for CGC services be moved to a regulatory oversite model like the United States? While we recognize that would require a legislative change, until then we expect government to ensure that CGC staff not in the PSAC union be available to pick up, bag and tag samples provided by a third party for CGC grading, thereby ensuring vessel loading and movement impacts are minimized because of the strike.
About the Wheat Growers
The Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information, please visit: wheatgrowers.ca. Click here to see who is helping to advocate for grain farmers.
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