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As Quebec’s premier says his province is just days away from running out of propane due to the ongoing strike at Canadian National Railway, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says there is a simple solution: pipelines.
On Thursday, Quebec Premier François Legaultbefore its propane supply would run out, creating an “emergency” situation for hospitals, farms and nursing homes.
Legault urged Ottawa to “accelerate negotiations” between CN Railway and the union representing its 3,200 conductors, train and yard workers, and to pass back-to-work legislation if necessary. Around 85 per cent of Quebec’s propane reserve is supplied by rail.
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“Here’s my message for Premier Legault: We have technology that could guarantee you constant, stable access to propane and other fuels,” Kenney said Thursday from Texas during a Facebook Live chat.
“They’re called pipelines.”
Kenney said he had a “simple message” for the government of Quebec if it’s concerned, “especially in a cold Quebec winter,” about reliable access to propane and other fuels.
“Help us build additional pipeline capacity,” he said.
“We have the third-largest energy reserves on earth here in Canada. We’re happy that 40 per cent of Quebec’s oil is purchased from Alberta now, but we could significantly increase that so you wouldn’t have to depend on storage. You could actually ship it in by pipeline. We think our friends in Quebec should understand obviously the danger, potential danger, of rail shipments.”
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Kenney added he hoped the rail strike would end as soon as possible, calling it damaging to Alberta farmers and the energy sector.
Legault told reporters in Quebec City that the province has already begun rationing its remaining propane reserve of 12 million litres and was trying to find trucks to bring more of the fuel into the province. Daily usage, which typically totals six million litres, has been cut to 2.5 million litres.
The reserve will go to hospitals and retirement homes first, as well as farmers who depend on propane to dry grains and heat facilities.
“What I’m saying is we cannot afford a strike for many days,” Legault said. “So I think we have to be open to a special law. So I am asking the opposition parties in Ottawa to support Mr. Trudeau if we cannot conclude an agreement with the union soon.”
Talks with CN representatives were ongoing, Teamsters spokesperson Christopher Monette said Thursday afternoon. But “no progress” had been made on any of the union’s concerns about long hours and dangerous working conditions due to fatigue, he said.
Petroleum producers, miners, chemical firms and steelmakers are among those who have warned of severe supply-chain disruption and economic damage should the strike carry on.
—With files from the Financial Post
Bus carrying hockey team slid off Hwy. 105 in Queensville, N.S. .
"I can say that the roads were bad at the time and I would expect that that would have at least contributed to the accident."RCMP said that they were dispatched to the scene around 2:18 p.m., where 19 players, two coaches and the driver were found.