Money: CN Rail strike puts Quebec on propane notice, but Ontario isn’t far behind - - PressFrom - Canada
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Money CN Rail strike puts Quebec on propane notice, but Ontario isn’t far behind

23:30  22 november  2019
23:30  22 november  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

CN strike means Quebec has less than five days propane left, premier says

  CN strike means Quebec has less than five days propane left, premier says Quebec Premier Francois Legault says a strike at Canadian National Railway Co. has left the province with fewer than five days before it runs out of propane, which would wreak havoc at hospitals, nursing homes and farms. He says Quebec has already started to ration propane use, narrowing it to less than half the typical six million litres per day. The province has about 12 million litres in reserve. Legault says priority has been given to health centres and retirement residences that rely on propane heating as well as farms that use it to dry grain and heat barns.

The strike at CN Rail has left Quebec with fewer than five days before it runs out of propane , said Premier Francois Legault, who warned of an “emergency” that could wreak havoc at hospitals, nursing homes and farms. The premier expressed hope for a settlement between the railway and the union

The CN Rail strike is about to make itself felt as a propane shortage grips the country. This isn ’ t something that will simply hurt those looking to throw a steak on the BBQ, it will hurt farmers trying to dry crops that have just come off the fields as well as the many people across rural areas who heat

The CN Rail workers strike is steering Ontario's propane supply in the same direction as Quebec's, industry experts say.

More than 3,000 conductors, yard workers and trainpersons walked off the job Tuesday after the union and railway failed to reach an agreement on a new contract.

While 'round-the-clock negotiations continue, no progress has been made.

READ MORE: Why are CN rail workers striking and what do they want?

a large long train on a steel track: A tank car train, which is carrying hydrocarbons (Crude Oil, Liquified Petroleum Gas, Ethanol, or Bitumen) is travelling on a Railway/Railroad track near two other tracks in a yard. Tank car trains are now substituting for pipelines to transport large amounts of hydrocarbon products to sea ports for export. Stephen C. Host / The Canadian Press Images. © Stephen C. Host / The Canadian Press Images. A tank car train, which is carrying hydrocarbons (Crude Oil, Liquified Petroleum Gas, Ethanol, or Bitumen) is travelling on a Railway/Railroad track near two other tracks in a yard. Tank car trains are now substituting for pipelines to transport large amounts of hydrocarbon products to sea ports for export. Stephen C. Host / The Canadian Press Images.

The strike has already choked output at industrial plants and is putting some of Canada's agricultural industry at risk.

Nova Scotia could face propane shortage as CN strike continues

  Nova Scotia could face propane shortage as CN strike continues Propane distributors in Nova Scotia are concerned about supplies in the province as the strike at the Canadian National Railway Co. is about to enter its fourth day. While some propane is trucked into Nova Scotia, the majority enters on the CN rail lines.While some propane is trucked into Nova Scotia, the majority enters on CN Rail lines.

CN Rail employees picket during a strike in front of the Intermodal Terminals in Brampton on Nov. “While CN is nowhere near operating at full capacity, we think enough trains are running to allow CN to supply Ontario and Quebec with propane ,” Lyndon Isaak, president of the union, said in the statement.

Quebec is poised to run out of propane within four days as the ongoing strike at Canadian National Railway chokes off supply, creating an “emergency” situation for hospitals, farms and nursing homes, Premier Francois Legault said.

Propane has become a major point of contention.

Quebec recently sounded the alarm about a propane supply "emergency," with just days to go before it runs out.

But Ontario's supply isn't faring any better, according to Keith Currie, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

"Many of our customers have already been notified by their propane suppliers that they're going to be cut off," Currie told Global News.

"Given the trade issues and geopolitics that have gone on in the last six to eight months with our products, it's adding more stress to our already stressed industry."

Propane is required to dry harvested crops, like corn and soybeans, for safe storage. Without it, some crops can't be harvested and could be lost, he said.

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A strike at Canada’s biggest railroad , Canadian National Railway Co, entered its fourth day on Friday amid ongoing talks, but the Teamsters union said in a “While CN is nowhere near operating at full capacity, we think enough trains are running to allow CN to supply Ontario and Quebec with propane

Just three days before the strike began, CN management unveiled a further onslaught on the The impact of such a regimen endangers not only rail workers, but entire communities, as seen by the 48 The complicity of the Teamsters with the rail bosses in recommending contracts that attack jobs and

"If our crops can't get harvested and dried, then we lose money, and that's money not going into the economy," he said.

Quebec receives its propane predominately by rail from Sarnia, Ont. In Ontario, there is a "limited amount" supplied by trucks, said Currie, which has helped keep the province above the critical mark — for now.

Ontario, he said, is on the brink of a propane supply "emergency" too.

"From my understanding, there are long, long lineups in Sarnia now of trucks," he said. "This is not something that we can remedy fast with the exception of the strike being resolved."

Canadian Propane Association CEO Nathalie St-Pierre agrees.

"It's critical. It will have serious consequences for farmers," she said. "There is a 27-rail car minimum a day of propane, and that's just for Quebec.

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Quebec is in danger of running out of propane within five days if a CN Rail strike drags on, Premier François Legault warns, putting heating supplies for health-care institutions, seniors homes and farmers She said she’s lowered the temperature in the buildings so that she isn ’ t using as much gas.

Propane in Quebec is running low, threatening the heating systems of hospitals and elderly residences across the province, Premier Francois Legault said. Farmers in Ontario and Quebec meanwhile are being urged to limit drying of corn and soybeans as heating for residents and livestock is prioritized.

As time drags on, the challenges for farmers only increase. Many livestock barns require propane for heating, as do a number of homes in rural Ontario.

"It's now a welfare issue for both livestock and humans," he said. "We're fortunate that it's not minus 20 degrees yet, but it could change very quickly.

"We could see some devastating effects."

Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Ernie Hardeman, said he's been in touch with his federal counterpart, Marie-Claude Bibeau on the matter.

In a statement, he acknowledged the strike has created "more hardship" for Ontario's farmers already dealing with "deep impacts of a difficult, wet growing season" and called for both sides to come to a quick resolution.

Agriculture isn't the only sector that will feel the effects.

Propane is commonly used in hospitals and nursing homes as a backup source, St-Pierre said.

It's also important for construction.

"When you're building and it's not completed, you lay tarps and use propane to heat sites to workers can continue the job," she said. "That's a big factor in the fall and winter in Ontario."

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Grain farmers in eastern Ontario and western Quebec fear their harvests could be lost because the ongoing CN Rail strike has cut off the supply of propane they need to dry their crops. In Quebec , 85 per cent of the propane supply is shipped by rail , and the remaining supply is being stretched thin.

Three days into the CN Rail strike and the economy is already feeling the hit. The strike that sent more than 3 Ontario Securities Commission holds annual Dialogue conference in Toronto including Bank of Canada Governor Top Stories. Quebec running out of propane as CN strike chokes off supply.

Atlantic Canada is also getting squeezed, said St-Pierre.

"There are some areas where there's no more propane already."

CN Rail is operating "at approximately 10 per cent" amid the strike and can transport "very limited amounts of various commodities," across the country, the company said in a statement.

However, the union representing CN workers, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, is calling foul on the propane shortage claims.

A spokesperson said the concerns appear to be "largely manufactured" by CN to pressure the Trudeau government to recall parliament early and pass back-to-work legislation.

"While CN is nowhere near operating at full capacity, we think enough trains are running to allow CN to supply Ontario and Quebec with propane," TCRC president Lyndon Isaak said in a statement.

"We wonder if CN is choosing to not ship goods like propane in order to manufacture a crisis and force back-to-work legislation."

An extended strike will not only bear economic consequences for the country but exacerbate antipathy swirling in rural and western Canada, Currie said.

"Rural Canada as a whole sent a message to this government that they're not happy, they're tired of being ignored. There's a lot of frustration out there," he said.

"We knew this strike was imminent. We knew that the government needed to act swiftly and right now, they're kind of shuffling their feet.

"I'd really like to see them step up their game."

— With files from the Canadian Press

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Quebec farmers press Trudeau to take action on CN strike, propane shortage .
Tractors from Quebec farms rumbled back into Montreal Monday morning — this time to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's constituency office, where farmers demanded the government do something about the propane shortage caused by the CN Rail strike. Last Friday, a convoy of tractors rolled up to CN's head office in downtown Montreal, where farmers declared that their livelihood is being threatened by the propane shortage. This time, the farmers dumped bags of corn in front of Trudeau's office in Montreal's north end, demanding action.The strike by CN rail's 3,200 employees is now in its seventh day.

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