Could grain farmers face future difficulties with more oil planned to be transported by rail?
According to Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jessica Littlewood, the Alberta government's plan to lease over 4,000 new rail cars to move oil won't really affect the local grain market.
"I've definitely heard concerns about rail capacity, but we have so many things that rely on our rail to get to market," she said.
Littlewood added the concerns she has heard extend past farmers, as many others use the rail for moving potash, coal and intermodal transportation.
"The issue that we're challenged with now is that we do have a growing oil sands in Alberta and we don't have a growing amount of market access," she explained.
The province is investing around $3.7-billion to move up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020.
"The issues that are happening right now are not new," Littlewood noted. "What we need to be doing is to make sure that all the policies that are happening at the federal level are supporting rail access for agriculture products."
According to the Alberta government, shipments are planned to start later on this summer.

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