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e-2312 (Transportation)

Initiated by JACQUELINE Kelly-Pemberton from Inkerman, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • CN Rail is one of two main rail networks that Canada uses to ship consumer goods and exports of propane, canola, wheat, potash and other resources, carrying $250 billion worth of goods annually;
  • On November 19th, 2019, approximately 3,200 workers at CN went on strike, which will impact shipments of propane, oil, potash and grain across Canada;
  • Farmers have been advised that their propane shipments have been halted due to the strike, where if no urgent action is taken, the consequences would be another serious blow to the local and national economy;
  • Grains and oilseeds farmers are currently struggling with weather conditions to harvest their fields;
  • The halt to propane shipments for their dryers has forced them to shut down as they are out of supply as frequent shipments are required to their operations to continue harvest;
  • The livestock sectors may be impacted by the halt of propane for heating of their barns, putting livestock health at risk; and
  • While there is still talks with CN and the union in hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement and ending the labour dispute as soon as possible, any delay in shipments of propane to farm operations will have serious and negative economic consequences to the industry.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to immediately recall Parliament and table emergency back-to-work legislation that would resume critical rail shipments of propane to farmers and show both sides of this dispute that the government is serious about ending the strike, which could result in an an agreement being reached much sooner.

Response by the Minister of Labour

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Anthony Housefather

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of the rail sector and its workers to the Canadian economy and appreciates the patience of all Canadians during the recent round of collective bargaining between the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC). 

The CN and the TCRC were negotiating the renewal of five collective agreements that had expired on July 22, 2019. Government-appointed mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) worked closely with the parties throughout the fall of 2019 to assist them in their negotiations. 

On November 26, 2019, following months of negotiations and an eight-day work stoppage, the parties announced that, with the assistance of FMCS mediators, they had reached tentative agreements.  Rail service across the country resumed shortly thereafter and the agreements were ratified by the TCRC membership on January 31, 2020.  New collective agreements are now in effect.

The Government of Canada supports and has faith in the collective bargaining process.  The recent agreements reached by the CN and the TCRC are further evidence that when employers and organized labour work together, we achieve the best results for Canadians.

Open for signature
November 22, 2019, at 1:43 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
January 21, 2020, at 1:43 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Eric Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
February 3, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00056)
Government response tabled
April 11, 2020
Photo - Eric Duncan
Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry
Conservative Caucus