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Economic growth

You will frequently hear me say: rail moves Canada forward. That’s true year-round. And it is especially so right now.

When shoppers go to their local store or make an online order, chances are good that what they’re buying gets to them – at least in part – because of rail.

As farmers look to get their harvest to market, rail helps them deliver. (And when it comes to grain shipments this fall, in record volumes!)

When travelers want to get home for the holidays or commuters need to brave snowstorms, rail delivers reliably, safely and cost-effectively.

Rail is so central to who we are as Canadians and how we move things that matter, it is no exaggeration to say that rail is a backbone of Canada’s economy and of Canadians’ daily lives.

We are a country on the move. We are a trading nation. And rail is central to how we do business with the world.

As we face inflationary pressures and economic headwinds, now is not the time for supply chain slowdowns or barriers to railway growth and investment. Now more than ever, we need to keep our rail systems healthy and strong.

Earlier this year, the federal government struck a task force to look at supply chain issues and develop recommendations. The RAC and its members participated actively in this process over the summer because of the complex issues at stake and our shared interest in promoting supply chain fluidity, supporting economic growth, and limiting cost-of-living/affordability pressures on Canadian consumers.

Some of the task force’s final recommendations could improve the efficiency, resiliency, and performance of Canada’s supply chains. But a couple of overly simplistic and, frankly, misguided recommendations ignore reality and would be huge steps backward.

We are working with federal ministers, officials, and others to make clear the implementing these unhelpful recommendations will have negative unintended consequences that will undermine investment, make Canada’s supply chains less fluid, and – ultimately – increase prices for consumers.

We have offered up a series of ideas and proposals that could be acted upon tomorrow and have immediate benefits to producers and consumers alike.

Over the next couple of months, we will be making the fact-based case that supporting Canadian rail helps stop supply chain slowdowns. If you can help us spread the word, we would appreciate it. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (if you’re not already) and amplify our updates.

This month’s newsletter highlights how RAC members contribute to Canada’s economic growth, especially timely given all the considerations outlined above.

Moving people and goods safely and efficiently, rail’s myriad contributions to our economy are clear. And so are the facts. When supply chains slow down, cost of living goes up and everyone misses out.

Through the pandemic, railways have been reliable links in complex supply chains by getting $320 billion worth of goods to market each year, delivering real value to customers, and driving innovation.

We need all supply chain partners to do similarly and to lead on innovation, accountability, and data-sharing.

Working together and with all relevant stakeholders, we will make sure that rail’s story is told and that our members are supported so they can continue to contribute positively to the communities they serve and to Canada as whole.

Moving Canada forward is serious business, indeed.