TORONTO, March 6 The Canadian government said on
Thursday it would take action to address a lack of rail capacity
that has led to a backlog of grain shipments, with two top
ministers set to provide details on Friday.
The Conservative government had warned last month it might
step in with new regulations as record crops of wheat and
canola, along with frigid weather, overwhelmed Canadian National
Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd,
resulting in overdue orders for tens of thousands of grain cars.
The government did not provide specifics on Thursday, but
said the announcement in Winnipeg, Manitoba, by Transport
Minister Lisa Raitt and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz would
"address challenges in Canada's grain transportation."
Canada's two big railways have stepped up service to reduce
a backlog of grain shipments that have delayed exports and
pushed oat prices to record highs. The railways have said they
are preparing to add thousands more cars per week to transport
grain to ports.
Canadian Pacific Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison
took out a full-page newspaper ad on Thursday, in which he said
the backlog was due to the harsh winter and record large crop.
Canada is the world's biggest canola exporter, and usually
the No. 2 wheat exporter, but the bottlenecks have left crops