The Sprout: Strike begins in Port of Montreal

Hello and welcome to Sprout, which is National Pretzel Day – a fitting day if you’re in a little twist on Monday.

Here is today’s agriculture news.

The leadership

We start with some news of the strike. Dock workers in Port of Montreal gave up their jobs on Monday after negotiations stalled. As reported by Global News, the workers have been without a contract since December 2018.

However, the federal government is preparing to intervene. As reported by CBC News, a bulletin published on Sunday shows that Labor Minister Filomena Tassi could submit a draft law to end the industrial action on Wednesday. CBC also reports that the content of the bill has not been made public and it is unclear whether it will resemble traditional work resumption laws.

In other port of Montreal news:

Around the city

Conservative MP Blain Calkins has tabled a law that, if passed, will tackle crime in rural areas. The western producer reports.

Statistics Canada released data for restaurants and bars in February 2021. You can find it here.

In Canada

Sellers at the Ontario Food Terminal want COVID-19 vaccinations for local workers. As reported by Global News, Terminal 24 confirmed workplace infections, the largest for fruits and vegetables in Canada.

In other vaccination news, some Quebec companies, including meat processor Olymel, are offering bar bonuses to employees if they get vaccinated against COVID, reports CBC News. Meanwhile, Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau received her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine over the weekend.

CBC News checks in at wineries and orchards in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, where producers say they “only hope for the best” as another COVID summer approaches and new travel restrictions come into effect in the province.

A Nova Scotia First Nation says it plans to expand its fishery and get back in the water in time for lobster season. As reported by Globe and Mail, this could put the First Nation on a collision course with Ottawa.

New research from Simon Fraser University includes policy proposals that could reduce food waste on British Columbia farms. CBC News reports.

Bloomberg investigates how a strawberry “made in Quebec” offers hope for food autonomy in the province.

And CBC News catches up with the man behind one of the largest potato farms in Northern Ontario.


Reuters investigates how North American rail freight customers, including grain shippers, want Canadian Pacific (CP) Railways to win a bidding war for Kansas City Southern. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Kansas City Southern will begin talks with CP’s rival Canadian National (CN) Railway.

CP and CN both issued statements about the Kansas City Southern deal. You can find CP’s statement here, CN’s here.

Food and drink sales in the UK and EU fell 40 percent in 2020, which exporters attribute to the Brexit bureaucracy. The Financial Times reports.

And despite a tsunami of coronavirus infections that crippled the country’s medical system, farmers in India continue to protest against the agricultural laws passed by the government last year. Aljazeera reports.


The kicker

We finish today with some beautiful artwork made from rotten bananas. As reported by CBC News, a woman in the UK created around 400 works of art by crushing bananas with a seam ripper.

Until tomorrow.

This story was copied after it was published.

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