Wet’suwet’en rail blockade could impact food prices in Atlantic Canada

As the rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ont., enters its eleventh day, there is concern it could have an impact on food prices in Atlantic Canada.

The protest, which is in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ opposition to the $6-billion, 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline that crosses their traditional territory in northwestern B.C, has cut off rail links across the country and ceased all rail operations in the Atlantic region.

Sylvain Charlebois, the director of Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, says much of the food on shelves makes it’s way to the East Coast by rail.

“For long distances, rail is the preferred choice, it’s much cheaper,” said Charlebois.

“As soon as you put cargo on wheels you’re increasing your logistical costs by anywhere from 30-50 per cent.”

Charlebois says that there is a chance the cost could be passed on to the consumer.

The region is already facing a propane shortage due to the rail blockade, with companies rationing propane to stretch out the remaining supply.

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