News Release - March 13, 2014
GETTING CANADA’S GOODS TO MARKET TOPS NEW WEST AGENDA
New West Partnership (NWP) Premiers Brad Wall (Saskatchewan), Christy Clark (British Columbia) and Alison Redford (Alberta) met today to discuss closer cooperation on western priorities. At the top of the agenda was solving problems with getting western goods to market—now and in the longer term.
“Our reputation as a reliable supplier of high quality food has been damaged throughout the world,” Wall said. “This is a serious problem and every avenue must be explored as we look for solutions.”
On March 7, 2014, the federal government announced that railways would be required to immediately increase shipments of grain and report weekly on their progress. Premiers welcome the increased shipments. To further complement this important action, Premiers call on the federal government to:
Premiers acknowledged that the current situation in Vancouver’s federally-regulated port cannot be tolerated for much longer. Its impacts are being increasingly felt across the western provinces, and Premiers called on the federal government, the port, and truckers to work to resolve these disruptive labour issues.
“Over the last eight years, New West partners have worked together, with the federal government, and the transportation sector, to jointly commit over $22 billion in transportation infrastructure to support trade with Asia,” Clark said. “Our governments are committed to ensuring that the region’s gateway facilities and transportation networks are fully able to support current and future export targets.”
“We are committed to increasing market access and ensuring our businesses capitalize on opportunities within Canada and around the world – particularly in Asia,” Redford said. “Through today’s meeting we have laid out a clear path to address the rail service challenges our grain and other sectors are experiencing. The outcomes of this meeting have positioned our provinces to strengthen our economies, increase our competitive edge and ensure the best quality of life for our citizens.
A NWP Summit on Transportation and Market Access will be held this fall. The summit will bring together government and supply chain stakeholders to explore ways to improve the long-term efficiency, reliability and competitiveness of western Canada’s transportation system.
The New West governments will put forward a joint submission to the National Infrastructure project component of the Building Canada Fund to improve western Canadian export infrastructure.
In addition to their discussion of getting Western goods to market:
Created in 2010, the NWP brought Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia into an unprecedented and historic partnership that established Canada’s largest open, efficient and stable market and created a framework for ongoing cooperation to strengthen the economy, unleash the creativity of innovators and expand the New West’s presence around the world.
For more information, contact: