CP RAIL WORKER STRIKE: Surrey Board of Trade Urges Federal Government to Implement Back-to-Work Legislation if CP Rail Strike Happens

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the union group representing rail workers, has issued a strike notice to the Canadian Pacific Railway network.

“One-third of Surrey’s land base is dedicated to agricultural production,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “The potential CP Rail labour strike will have a devastating impact on the entire agriculture value-chain that has already suffered through drought, wildfires, flooding, blockades, the pandemic, snowfall and more.”

The Federal Government needs to:

1.     Implement Back-to-Work Legislation if CP Rail Strike occurs

2.     Introduce legislation to designate rail service as an essential service to prevent future rail disruptions that are caused by labour disputes

Rail service is essential to get grain, for example, from the Prairies to ports across Canada and North America for global distribution. This is not the first time that rail infrastructure challenges have resulted in irreparable damage to Canada’s reputation with its global customers.

The impacts will be felt mostly by Canadian consumers not only at the grocery store but through the hospitality industry as well as events serving food will face significant price surges and supply challenges.

Railways need to move fertilizer, potash, nitrogen and other crop chemicals to retail locations just ahead of spring planting. Without such products, harvests will be reduced.

“Surrey’s agricultural exports are a critical piece of food security for all of Canada.”


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,


Agriculture has played an integral economic role in Surrey for more than 100 years. Surrey is home to close to 500 farms that generate over $165 million in economic activity each year. Economic development strategies continue to enhance our land base, encourage innovation, improve sustainability, and maximize productivity in the agricultural sector to preserve agricultural land, enhance food security and remain competitive in today’s marketplace. A substantial percentage of BC’s farm revenue is generated in Surrey – one of the richest growing areas in Canada because of its favourable soils, mild climate, and extended growing season. Surrey farmers produce a large percentage of BC’s celery, carrots, onions, and lettuce. Other crops produced in Surrey include potatoes, blueberries, and greenhouse and nursery crops. Forage and pasture are also significant farm uses.