Market News & Headlines >> Canadian Rail Strike Ends

Canada's longest railroad strike in a decade ended at 8 days on Tuesday as Canadian National (CN) Railway Co., the country's biggest railroad, reached a tentative agreement with workers, but while CN rail operations are expected to resume early Wednesday, shippers warned it could take weeks before service bounces back to normal. 

Meanwhile, at least 35 vessels were queued up off Canada’s western coast waiting to be loaded with grain, Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corp which tracks grain shipments for the government, told Reuters News Service on Monday. 

The Canadian Propane Association warned severe shortages of the fuel in several eastern Canadian provinces could last weeks. Farmers in Quebec protested on Monday by dumping bags of corn on the steps of prime minister Justin Trudeau’s Montreal office, demanding an end to the strike as it had caused a shortage of propane needed to dry their corn after a wet harvest.

The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC), a producer group, in a press release urged CN to prioritize the movement of grain and propane at “this most critical time” for Canadian farmers. “The last thing we needed coming off of one of the worst harvests on record was any sort of delay getting our products to market and inputs to our farms,' said GGC Vice Chair Markus Haerle from his farm in St. Isidore, ON. 'With access challenges in key markets around the world and on-farm profitability at its lowest point in six years, farmers cannot afford any further delays, we have to get grain moving again.'