I have been contacted by numerous individuals regarding my call for government intervention in the CN Rail labour dispute. I appreciate this opportunity to outline my actions on this issue.
Last Wednesday (Feb. 14), I was contacted by community leaders, business owners, and employees of Atikokan who were desperate. I am sure your readers can understand I was responding to the fact that they are in trouble.
My quote in the paper is correct—I am calling on the government to intervene to ensure that disastrous economic consequences are avoided for communities like Atikokan.
However, that intervention is not, as some have suggested, forcing CN workers back to their jobs.
I have been in communications with the minister of finance to appeal for additional financial support to help companies find other ways of transportation for their goods during the dispute.
I also have spoken with the minister of transportation to ensure he is aware of the challenges that are being faced because of this dispute. And I have contacted the minister of labour to request his support to get the two parties back to the negotiating table to work out a fair deal.
In addition, I already have approached my colleagues on the transportation committee regarding the safety issues raised by W-5 that have been in the media of late and this will be studied in the next few weeks.
Please know that my father was a railroader and I remain steadfast in my objective to help the workers.
Ken Boshcoff, M.P.
Thunder Bay-Rainy River