SASKATOON, Sept. 25, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), said today CN's capacity to invest in continued improvements in rail transportation to support Saskatchewan's thriving economy requires a sound, commercially-driven regulatory regime.
Mongeau, speaking to the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, 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."
"We firmly believe the federal government should pursue sound policies that foster a balanced regulatory regime for railways and encourage commercial innovation, supply chain collaboration and continued investment. In the end, such tried and tested market pillars are critical to a rail industry that builds the resources and infrastructure required to support Saskatchewan's fast-growing economy."
CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.
Certain information included in this news release is "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. CN cautions that, by their nature, these forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the growth of the frac sand market, involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company or the rail industry to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements.
Important risk factors that could affect the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Management's Discussion and Analysis" in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risks.
CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable Canadian securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.
For further information: CN Contacts: Media : Mark Hallman, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, (905) 669-3384; Investment Community : Janet Drysdale, Vice-President, Investor Relations, (514) 399-0052