Insights & Analysis

March 21, 2022

STATEMENT: Bringing the CP Rail work stoppage to an end to prevent further economic harm

Dear Honourable Seamus O’Regan,

We are writing to you at a critical juncture in Canada’s economic recovery. On behalf of our 115 member companies with representation from Alberta’s largest employers and rail-dependent sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing, we call on the federal government to use all available tools to bring the Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail work stoppage to an end.

This work stoppage could not come at a worse time for the Canadian economy. Canadian businesses have grappled with constant disruptions over the past two years including: pandemic-related closures, labour shortages, weather catastrophes, inflationary pressures, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and ongoing supply chain challenges. Furthermore, this specific timing impairs the Alberta and Canadian agriculture sector during an essential time. While Canadian businesses have been resilient in the face of adversity, the CP work stoppage threatens the pathway to economic recovery.

Canada’s freight rail industry is a keystone to our economy and impacts nearly every sector. Businesses and consumers alike rely on rail to import and export goods, which form the basis of Canada’s economic growth and high standard of living. Should the work stoppage be allowed to continue, the adverse impact for all Canadians will be deep and long-lasting.

We ask the government to immediately consider binding arbitration as a path to resolution. We cannot wait for a deal to be struck at the bargaining table, which could take weeks to months; there is a small window of time to prevent significant economic harm.

The Business Council of Alberta thanks you for your attention to this matter.  


The Business Council of Alberta

Cc: The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

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In the spirit of truth, reconciliation, and respect, we honour and acknowledge the lands upon which we live and work as guests, including the traditional territories of the First Nations in Treaties 6, 7, and 8 and the citizens of the Metis Nation of Alberta. We thank the First Peoples of this land, which we now call Alberta, for their generations of stewardship of the land, and we seek to walk together in the spirit of truth and reconciliation to build a shared future for all in Alberta.

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