CN’s capacity to invest in continued improvements in rail transportation to support Saskatchewan’s thriving economy requires a sound, commercially-driven regulatory regime.
Speaking to the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN, said Saskatchewan’s economy is booming – the province’s real gross domestic product is expected to grow much faster than Canada’s this year, powered by strong grain and fertilizer production, a growing energy franchise and a solid manufacturing base.
CN has responded to this growth – CN traffic originating in Saskatchewan is up 65 per cent since 2009 – by investing ahead of the curve in capacity improvements, including more than C$100-million spent on extended sidings, double-track and yards along its Edmonton-Saskatoon-Winnipeg corridor. CN is also hiring aggressively — today its employee base in Saskatchewan is 40 per cent higher than it was five years ago.
Mongeau said CN’s investments have helped it efficiently haul more freight, including Saskatchewan’s large share of the unprecedented 2013-2014 grain crop in Western Canada.
“CN posted a record performance in the 2013-2014 crop year – our movement of Western Canadian grain was a full 25 per cent greater than past average performance,” he said. “Today, as a result of hard work and normal commercial incentives, the grain supply chain is back in synch and we are ready to handle the new crop efficiently.”