CME concerned about potential shutdown of CP rail services

Ottawa, April 20, 2018

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) is urging the federal government to step in and facilitate dispute resolution should a Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) labour dispute result in the discontinuation of normal rail operations. CP and two of its unions have until midnight today to settle contract issues to avoid a possible shutdown of services that could negatively impact the Canadian economy.

While we fully respect the rights of Canadian workers, we must also take into consideration the damaging effect a stoppage would have on the economy and jobs across the country. Rail shipping is a critical link in the global supply chains of Canadian businesses. Manufacturing, agriculture, and natural resource operations all rely heavily on rail for both imports and exports of goods traded between North America and the rest of the world.

Continued rail services are paramount to the prosperity and long-term competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. It is critical Canadian manufacturers have a reliable, functional transportation network to prosper both at home and on the global stage. Manufacturers loaded an average of nearly 4,500 rail cars per day in 2016, for a yearly total of 1.62 million rail cars. Manufactured goods make up about 47 per cent of all rail car loadings in Canada and CP is a core element to this network. Redirecting shipments to other modes of transport is a not practical solution as it disrupts supply chains, delays shipments and leads to added costs or penalties for missed delivery schedules and, possibly, the loss of future business to global competitors.

CME urges all parties involved to resolve their differences as quickly as possible and continue servicing Canada’s transportation needs.


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