The Sprout: Coastal GasLink pipeline protests threaten food and agricultural shipments

Good day and welcome to the Sprout and welcome to the Sprout. Valentine’s Day is just two days away, so here are some last minute gift ideas from Good Housekeeping.

Here’s today’s agriculture news.

The Lead

Some of the country’s most important railways ground to a halt on Tuesday as supporters of the Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs put up stoppages in protest of the development of a B.C. LNG project.

Canadian National Railway Co. announced it will have to shut down parts of its shipping network if the protests against the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the government leaders who demonstrators think should intervene do not end.

There’s been six days of protests, slowing trains hauling everything from fresh produce to grain to chlorine for municipal water purification.

The Globe and Mail has more about the protests, while Real Agriculture breaks down where the stoppages could occur.

Around Town

MPs will be back to sitting in the House next week.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said a recall has been noticed for Nutrition Excellence Canada’s Nuts ‘N More brand peanut butter. There are concerns over possible Listeria contamination in the product. Mississauga News has more details.

Here’s the 2020 contract for seasonal workers from Mexico, posted by the federal government.

In Canada

Canadian dairy company Saputo Inc. announced its intention to shrink the carbon dioxide output and energy intensity of its operations by 20 per cent by 2025. It also wants to reduce the water intensity of its operations by 10 per cent by the same year and reduce total waste by 25 per cent by that time. Food In Canada has more on its commitments.

Alberta’s Efficient Grain Dryer Program is now accepting applications. Available through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the program is designed to help cover costs for improvements to grain dryers. Funding can be put towards equipment showing “a significant energy improvement over standard practice.” The program is retroactive to apply to upgrades made as far back as April 1, 2018. Up to $2 million is available for farmers to cover up to 50 per cent of the expenses they incurred with upgrades.

The Western Producer raised those details and more in this piece.


Sudan plans to continue subsidizing bread prices after ousting President Omar al-Bashir. Bread shortages caused by difficulties in raising hard currency to import wheat triggered mass protests, which helped depose Bashir as the country’s leader after three decades in power. The new civilian government that’s ruling in tandem with the armed forces has been trying to address bread and fuel shortages since losing about 75 per cent of its oil wealth when South Sudan seceded in 2011. Reuters has more details.



NPR explains in this article how one small Montana town is leveraging the excess created by its booming craft beer industry to save wastewater treatment plants money. Ain’t that somethin’.

Have a good one.

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