Alarm grows over heightened Canadian rail protests

Carl Surran, SA News Editor 
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About: TC Energy Corporation (TRP)

  • Canadian executives and lawmakers express rising concern over the protests against TC Energy's (NYSE:TRP) planned Coastal GasLink pipeline, which they say are jeopardizing shipments of grain, propane, lumber and consumer goods.
  • Demonstrators are supporting the indigenous group that opposes the construction with so many rail blockades that Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNIsaid yesterday it would shut down "significant" parts of its network.
  • "It's not just passenger trains that are impacted by these blockades, it's all Canadian supply-chains," CN Rail CEO Jean-Jacques Ruest said.
  • Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE), which ships a large portion of its crude oil production by rail, says the protests pose a serious threat to Canada's economy.
  • "This is really ridiculous behavior," says Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix. "It's really important that the governments have a plan and execute on a plan to get us back to having all of this infrastructure operating."
  • Western Canada's oil patch has grown increasingly reliant on rail to get crude to refiners as far away as the U.S. Gulf Coast.
  • CN Rail has said it expects to ship 250K bbl/day by the end of Q1, up from 180K bbl/day in September.