Manitoba makes deal with CP to move more grain
Grain hopper cars line the tracks carrying wheat at a terminal near Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 28, 2006. Photographer: Ruth Bonneville/Bloomberg News. Ruth Bonneville/Bloomberg
The Manitoba government says it has secured a promise from the head of Canadian Pacific Railway to try to move more grain through the port at Thunder Bay, Ont.
Manitoba Transportation Minister Steve Ashton says he has spoken on the telephone with CEO Hunter Harrison.
Ashton says Harrison has agreed to intervene personally to try to have more grain shipped through Thunder Bay, where there is some unused elevator capacity.
A backlog exists across Western Canada due to bumper crops and an extremely cold winter that rail companies say snarled grain movement.
An emergency order earlier this month from the federal government set minimum targets for CP and Canadian National of 11,000 cars a week and fines of up to $100,000 a day for failing to meet those targets.
Saskatchewan and Alberta say the minimums should be higher — 13,000 cars a week and a penalty of $250,000 a day.