Further to yesterday’s report that Ontario and Quebec were requiring all non-essential businesses to close at midnight tonight, the Ontario list of essential businesses which can continue to operate and which was not available last evening, can be found at

There are no reports of border delays for trucking nor any significant delays at the major marine ports.

CN and CP both report that their networks generally remain fluid. Last week, CP reported that there was congestion related to several of their auto compounds and they were endeavoring to control traffic to these facilities with embargos and permits. Today they announced that the Vancouver auto compound was being added to the list. CP also notes a strong demand for box cars related to wood pulp and for centre beam cars.

The House of Commons is meeting today to pass the legislation authorizing the $85 billion stimulus legislation. The plan is for the Commons to pass it today, the Senate tomorrow and have the Governor General give Royal Assent, also on Wednesday. The latest reports in mid-afternoon are that the session has been suspended while the government and the opposition parties work out some differences in the wording to limit the unilateral power of the Liberal government to make future financial decisions without going to Parliament.

As mentioned yesterday, FMA will be participating in the Commodity Supply Chain Table conference call on Friday, which is an initiative of Natural Resources Canada, supported by Transport Canada. The government people will be looking for feedback from the industry associations on the current service levels being experienced, primarily by rail and truck. I mentioned the very brief questionnaire to which we will ask the FMA membership to respond. The questionnaire is attached as an excel spread sheet. It is very simple and qualitative in nature. It is asking general experience with equipment supply and transit consistency for each of the four main modes (except no equipment supply for air cargo), and only requires check-mark to be copied and pasted in seven boxes. Only one response per company is needed and it would be appreciated if you could respond by the end of business on Wednesday, March 25.

It can be accessed at the red bar below. As an Excel spread sheet it will not open automatically. Click on the “open” box at the bottom of the screen, download, fill it in and return to FMA. There is no need to include your company name in the response.

Our focus in the FMA updates will be on supply-chain impacts. In this connection, it would be appreciated if FMA members could keep us informed of impacts on your respective operations, particularly any supply chain disruptions. This will be helpful in our continuing outreach to members and our communications with the government and with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As always, all individual company information will be kept confidential.