Canadian Biomass Magazine

News Harvesting Transportation
WPAC: CN labour dispute damaging industry’s reputation


November 22, 2019
By Gordon Murray, WPAC

Topics

Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), has written a letter to minister of labour Filomena Tassi and minister of Transport Marc Garneau, voicing WPAC’s concerns about the impact of the CN labour dispute on the wood pellet industry.

The letter follows below.

Dear Minister Tassi and Minister Garneau:

WPAC is the trade association for Canada’s wood pellet industry. Our members operate wood pellet plants and provide hundreds of jobs in small rural communities across Canada. The majority of our members export 100% of their production to European and Asian countries where wood pellets are used in power plants to create clean, low carbon, renewable electricity. We are totally reliant on CN to reach Canada’s ports where we load vessels bound for our export destinations.

The current CN labour dispute has forced our member companies to shut down their operations and has resulted in substantial job losses and severe financial hardship. This labour dispute is damaging our industry’s reputation and is causing our customers to look to wood pellet suppliers from other countries to keep their electrical generating facilities operating. Our industry now has 500 Canadian families without income due to the CN labour dispute.

It is vitally important for the federal government to immediately intervene with back to work legislation and to require that the parties submit to arbitration. Waiting until December for parliament to reconvene would cause irreparable harm to our industry.

Sincerely,
Gordon Murray
Executive Director