CN Rail is set to launch an emergency trainload of propane on the tracks to Quebec to help with that province’s critical shortage, the Western Standard has learned.
A WS source says the company’s non-union management team is set to roll a 124-car train filled with propane to Quebec.
The emergency propane should help ease a shortage that saw the province impose rationing on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, with Quebec only hours away from running out of propane, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has a message for them – build pipelines.
A strike by more than 3,200 CN Rail workers means Quebec has stopped getting its regular shipments of propane from Sarnia, Ont.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault has already started rationing propane and according to the Association quebecoise du propane (Quebec Propane Association) Thursday, the province is at serious risk of using up all of its propane reserves in the next 24 hours.
“Here’s my message for Premier Legault: We have technology that could guarantee you constant, stable access to propane and other fuels – they are called pipelines,” Kenney said Thursday night from Texas during a Facebook Live chat.
Kenney has spent the week in Texas on a trade mission.
“Help us build additional pipeline capacity,” he asked Quebec in the Facebook chat.
“We have the third-largest energy reserves on earth here in Canada. We’re happy that 40 per cent of Quebec’s oil is purchased from Alberta now, but we could significantly increase that so you wouldn’t have to depend on storage. You could actually ship it in by pipeline. We think our friends in Quebec should understand obviously the danger, potential danger, of rail shipments.”
Both Kenney and Legault have called on Justin Trudeau to recall Parliament to bring in back-to-work legislation.
Legault said Thursday the shortage will hit hospital heating systems and old age homes across the province.
He called the situation an “emergency.”
On Wednesday, the Quebec government began rationing the 12 million litres of propane they have left.
The normal rate of consumption is six million litres per day, Legault said, adding rationing will cut it down to 2.5 million litres.
Hospitals and care home will get priority, he said.
He said the province is trying to find enough trucks to transport additional propane by road from Sarnia.
More than 3,000 CN workers went on strike Tuesday seeking, among other things, safer working conditions.