Canadian business associations recognize progress and warn of ongoing economic impacts of rail blockades

OTTAWA (February 24, 2020) – Today, several dozen industry associations met to exchange information about the effects of the rail blockades and discuss next steps.  Afterwards, the Business Council of Canada, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters issued the following statement:

“We acknowledge the progress made by governments and authorities to restore rail service today.

Concerns about the severe economic impacts of infrastructure blockades has galvanized the Canadian business community. Last week nearly 50 of the nation’s leading business associations signed a letter reinforcing the economic impact of the rail disruptions and calling for an immediate resumption of services.

While we are cautiously optimistic about the steps being taken towards restoring service today, significant economic damage has been done and will continue to affect Canadian communities, businesses, workers and their families for weeks to come as supply chains recover.

The business community remains committed to working with government and Indigenous communities on reconciliation which is an economic and social imperative. Indigenous peoples must have the same opportunity to benefit from economic activity as everyone else.

The damage to Canada’s reputation as a reliable supply chain partner and destination for foreign investment along with the severity of economic headwinds facing our country requires a serious, structured, and ongoing discussion between government and business.

Canada’s business leaders, employing millions of Canadians, stand ready to work with governments at all levels and Indigenous leaders to create an investment climate that benefits all Canadians.”

Joint statement made by:

Perrin Beatty, PC, OC, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Goldy Hyder, President and CEO, Business Council of Canada

Dan Kelly, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Dennis Darby, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters


Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.


Stefi Proulx
Director of Communications & Branding
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
(613) 292-6070