Grain farmers aren't sold on Premier Rachel Notley's plan to move more crude oil by rail with concern this will negatively effect the rail companies' ability to get their grain to market.

CN Rail Executive Vice-President of Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer, Sean Finn, says they'll be moving 60 percent of the the Province's targeted 120,000 barrels per day by 2020.

Finn assures farmers moving the additional crude will not be at the detriment of other commodities, including grain.

"As additional crude comes onto our property, because we have hired crews, have new locomotives, have invested extensively in the capital and the track between Winnipeg and Edmonton, and we'll do so again this year, we're confident we'll be able to move the product that comes our way."

Finn notes this rail capacity is being purchased by the province as a customer of CN Rail.

The cold weather has been a challenge for the rail company as it's forced them to shorten their trains, however, Finn says they're been meeting their grain target and working to move more.

He says the recent derailment west of Winnipeg didn't slow grain movement, as there were able to reroute trains on another line.

Finn points to the closure of the Port of Thunder Bay in the winter as more of a deterrent, as all the grain from Manitoba and Saskatchewan will need to move through Western Canada out to the Port of Vancouver or Prince Rupert.

The Alberta Government plans to have addition crude oil shipments on the tracks as early as July 2019.

 

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