Two national organizations are warning that there could be shortages of propane and consumer goods in Canada if the current rail blockades continue.
The spokesman for the Canadian Propane Association and the Retail Council of Canada said on Sunday that they were worried and frustrated, especially about the impact of the blockade near Belleville, Ontario. The Tyendinaga Mohawk territory that has shut down rail service in much of Eastern Canada.
blockade enters the 11th day on Sunday. CN Rail has obtained a court order to end the protests, but not yet enforced the Ontario Provincial Police.
The same blockade across the country have cut both passenger and freight trains, with pressure on the federal government to take them over. Protests in solidarity with the heads of the descendants of Wet’suwet’ en contrary to the LNG pipeline in Northern BC
Nathalie St-Pierre, president, and CEO of the Canadian Propane Association, said there are already rationing propane in Atlantic Canada, Quebec thinks about rationing fuel, and there is a long line of trucks waiting to be loaded with propane in Ontario.
“Obviously, there are some problems if nothing is transported by rail,” said St-Pierre. “Thank goodness fairly mild winter this time. The demand is a little softer than usual.”
In Ontario, there is no access to propane through Sarnia, Ontario. by pipeline, but then the propane must be transported by rail or truck. There are times to wait eight to 10 hours in Sarnia for the truck to be loaded with propane, he said. Trucks from other provinces would Sarnia because they do not accept the shipment.
He said waiting time “critical” and not what he would consider “normal.”
St-Pierre said there are not enough trucks to sustain the demand for propane. fuel used in the regulation of commercial, institutional and residential, he said. Forty percent of the consumption of propane Canada is in Ontario.
Thousands of Canadian use propane to heat their homes, while many businesses and industries to use in their operations. Farmers use to keep warm cattle in barns, for example. Many services, including police, school buses, and taxis, to use as a transportation fuel.
“They talked about continuing the dialogue. But at the same time, and from the perspective of each person maybe, you have to lift the blockade. You can have a dialogue, but this time, I think the point was made,” he said.
“I do not think they need to hold hostages and the Canadian economy could not function. The increased pressure.”
Superior Propane, a Mississauga-based company, said in a news release last week that it predicts the “critical supply shortage” of propane in Central and Eastern Canada if the blockade continues.
Karl Littler, senior vice president, public affairs, Retail Council of Canada, said there will be a shortage of household products and consumer goods if the blockade continues. such goods can include personal hygiene products, infant formula, a good cleaning and sanitation products. There are also concerns about the delivery of fresh food.
Littler said the blockade affects the finished product ready to be put on the shelves of stores and raw materials required for manufacturing.
“We are concerned about it,” said Littler. “There is an inability to move goods across the country through various choke points. This is a major concern for retailers. It’s either interrupt the flow of goods ready for retail and impede the manufacturing process for the manufacture of Canada.”
Littler said the board respects the right of people to engage in peaceful protest but said orders have been issued and not all have been enforced. The blockade has implications for the health and safety of Canada, he added.
“Obviously, we support the right to peaceful protest,” he said. “Our main concern is, the longer this protracted blockade, the more there is a risk that the food and consumer goods will not get through retail outlets, and obviously, that then affects the daily consumption that Canada needs.”
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