OTTAWA – Industry groups representing the mining and forest products sectors have jointly requested federal intervention in the Port of Montreal strike, which has been ongoing since Monday, August 10. The groups urged the government to “take any and all action necessary to address this work stoppage”.
In a joint statement, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) said: “After a protracted rail strike in November, rail blockades in February, and the ongoing and significant supply chain disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Montreal strike is exacerbating an already stressful situation by bringing the shipping of essential items like minerals, metals, forest products and fuel to a standstill in the region.”
MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton said the strike “and the lack of effective action to resolve it demonstrates an incomprehensible inability to prioritize Canada’s economic recovery in one of our country’s greatest times of need. If the government wants to attract advanced manufacturing investment for battery and electric vehicle manufacturing needed to support the transition to a lower carbon economy, a reliable and efficient logistics supply chain is essential.”
“The Port of Montreal is absolutely critical infrastructure to Canada’s forest products sector. We export hundreds of products globally and receive shipments from abroad every single day,” said Derek Nighbor, president and CEO of FPAC.
“We estimate that this disruption has already imposed nearly US$1 million dollars in additional costs and lost sales for our sector in Ontario and Quebec – and this is at a time when we are facing high lumber demand and a struggling pulp and paper sector because of COVID-19. This disruption is challenging our ability to deliver to our customers and keep our people working. We need the federal government to deploy every resource to bring this dispute to resolution.”