I am writing in response to recent comments from NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon regarding the current grain transportation challenges.
The suggestion we have been dismissive of producers’ struggles to move their grain to market is false. Addressing the grain transportation challenges that Saskatchewan producers are facing has been, and continues to be, a top priority for our provincial government and me.
We have been working on this file for months, while the NDP just now are raising this issue to score some cheap political points on the backs of our farmers. Since last fall, we have met with the railroads and grain companies numerous times. And while the NDP, with no understanding of the situation, now think they have the answer to the problem with joint running rights, we know this will not solve the problem.
Premier Wall recently appointed Minister Boyd, Minister McMorris, MLA Scott Moe and I to meet with the grain companies to advocate for increased engagement. We will also continue to meet with the railways to urge them to immediately mobilize and put additional resources in place to move more grain to port. As well we will continue to raise this issue with the federal government to ensure grain movement remains a federal priority. We will continue to raise the profile of poor rail service to a level that cannot be ignored by the railways.
The NDP spent 16 years in government ignoring farmers and ranchers and left our infrastructure in rural Saskatchewan in deplorable condition. We won’t be taking any lessons from Mr. Wotherspoon and the NDP on agriculture.
Lyle Stewart - Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture