The AMC pleased with First Nations involvement in acquiring Hudson Bay Railway, Port of Churchill, and Churchill Marine Tank Farm
September 14, 2018
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Treaty One Territory, MB – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) acknowledges a historic announcement from Arctic Gateway Group Limited Partnership. This group has purchased the Hudson Bay Railway, Port of Churchill, and Churchill Marine Tank Farm from Omnitrax. The purchasing group includes Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership, a consortium of 30 First Nations and 11 other communities in northern Manitoba along with 7 Kivalliq communities in western Nunavut; Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited; and AGT Limited Partnership.
“Together as one our voices are loud and powerful,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the AMC. “This partnership and announcement shows that our communities can achieve great things when we work together with one united voice.”
The Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership was created in 2015 as an initiative to purchase Omnitrax’s Manitoba assets. The railway to Churchill has been in a state of disrepair and out of operation since May 2017.
“This is a historic announcement. For years, many of us have believed that First Nations could help to operate the railway and port in sustainable ways to help our communities in a variety of ways,” said Grand Chief Dumas. “Being a part of this project will increase economic prosperity for our Northern communities.”
“We really rely on this train. The situation has impacted the people in my community when it comes to accessing health services. We don’t have all-season roads. We don’t have scheduled planes. We depend on that train. War Lake First Nation is very happy this deal is complete,” stated Chief Betsy Kennedy of War Lake First Nation, which is part of the Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership.
The buying group is committed to creating commercial business opportunities that will help to develop sustainable economic growth, new jobs, and the long-term future of Northern communities.
“We will work hard to repair the track, maintain it, and ensure that it’s properly run. There are economic opportunities for everyone involved,” said Chief Kennedy. “This will be an opportunity to hire our seasoned rail workers and to train First Nations citizens to work on the railroad. This will be a great success.”
“Thank you to the three partners who worked diligently to make this deal happen. This development is a game-changer for Manitoba,” stated Grand Chief Dumas. “The AMC will continue to support the work of bringing economic prosperity to life in the North.”
[Photo credit: Artic Gateway Facebook page]