‘Serious damage’: Businesses warn of looming layoffs, loss of sales as rail disruption drags on – by Jesse Snyder and Julia Mastroianni (Financial Post – February 19, 2020)


Businesses are warning of looming layoffs, lost revenue and a hit to Canada’s reputation, as rail disruptions drag on in the country.

A coalition of 39 industry associations wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, calling on him to “work urgently” with First Nations and police to bring the blockade to a peaceful end.

“The damage inflicted on the Canadian economy and on the welfare of all our citizens mounts with each hour that these illegal disruptions are allowed to continue,” the coalition said, which represents automotives, mining and numerous other industries.

While the members said they share the government’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous groups, the blockades “inflict serious damage on the economy, leaving countless middle-class jobs at risk, many of them in industries that must get their goods, parts, and ingredients to and from market by rail.”

“In addition to disrupting domestic and global supply chains, the blockades undermine Canada’s reputation as a dependable partner in international trade,” they said in the letter.

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