Chemistry industry urges government and CP to work together to keep goods moving  

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) urges the Government of Canada, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Teamsters Canada to work together to prevent serious damage to the Canadian economy and keep critical goods moving in Canada. 

“The compounding events of recent years (the pandemic, severe weather, global supply chain issues) have created a fragile supply chain in Canada. This work stoppage is yet another blow to Canada’s economic recovery and our reputation as a reliable supplier to global markets,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC. 

“Fully $31 million worth of industrial chemical products rely on CP’s network to get to their destinations every single day and the economic impact of a work stoppage is $1 million per day per facility that is shutdown. Some of those goods are also essential to core public services such as water treatment. We urge both sides to consider the far-reaching and urgent economic implications the work stoppage at CP will have on industry.” 

In many cases, chemical facilities are continuous operations that require reliable, uninterrupted rail service to produce and deliver essential products to customers. In the event of an interruption, they quickly run out of storage capacity and incur shortages for incoming raw materials. 

The impacts of a CP work stoppage are immediate, severe, and long-lasting as there are no viable alternatives for shipments. Many CIAC members are captive to CP’s network. Even those served by both CP and Canadian National Railway (CN) understand CN’s network is not in a position to take on much extra capacity. 

CIAC believes that a negotiated solution is always the preferred outcome. Should negotiations fail, however, the Government of Canada must be prepared to act quickly and in the national interest to order the parties to return to work and enter binding arbitration.