WINNIPEG, May 30, 2018 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, is pleased to announce an agreement in principle between Missinippi Rail Partners and Fairfax Financial Holdings, and OmniTRAX Inc. to restore rail service to northern Manitoba and transfer ownership of the Port of Churchill.
This historic arrangement includes the active participation of 30 First Nations and 11 non-First Nations communities in northern Manitoba, seven Kivalliq communities in western Nunavut, a pillar of Canada's business community and one of the world's largest Canadian pulse processors. This agreement provides the people of northern Manitoba with the opportunity to control their future.
The rail line is one of the foundational pieces of transportation infrastructure for the northern portion of the province. The announcement today is a signal that negotiations are moving forward and a made-in-Canada solution is imminent, thanks in part to the work of the Chief Negotiator, the Honourable Wayne Wouters, and his efforts to bring the parties to an agreement.
The Government of Canada is committed to the people of northern Manitoba and to re-establishing rail service before winter 2018. We look forward to when the deal is done and when service is restored to the Town of Churchill.
"The people of northern Manitoba have long understood the value of the rail line. This agreement in principle allows those most affected to have a direct stake in the future and long-term interests of their communities."
Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources
"I am happy that Missinippi Rail Partners and Fairfax Financial Holdings have signed an agreement in principle with OmniTRAX. Many of us believed that this was possible and the time has come to make it happen."
Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
- In May 2017, the Hudson Bay Rail Line was closed due to severe flooding and washout conditions.
- In September 2017, the Government of Canada appointed the Honourable Wayne Wouters, supported by McCarthy Tétrault, as the Government's Chief Negotiator to represent Canada's interests in delivering a successful outcome for the people and communities in northern Manitoba by finding a solution to restoring the rail line.
- The recently formed buying group consists of Fairfax Financial Holdings (Fairfax), AGT Food and Ingredients (AGT), Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership and OneNorth. Missinippi and OneNorth (together operating as Missinippi Rail Partners) provide First Nation and community participation through their ownership stake and short line rail experience, thus providing further opportunities for economic development with affected Indigenous communities. Fairfax and AGT each offer significant private sector leadership and short line rail experience to the partnership and are integral to the longer-term financial prospects of the Port of Churchill.
SOURCE Western Economic Diversification Canada
For further information: Alexandre Deslongchamps, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-292-6837; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 343-292-6100, [email protected]; Nathalie Leroux, Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations, Western Economic Diversification Canada, 204-984-8472, [email protected]