Ottawa and Manitoba Contribute $60M to Port of Churchill and Hudson Bay Railway

Today in Churchill, Premier Wab Kinew and Dan Vandal, minister for PrairiesCan announced a joint investment of up to $60 million to the Arctic Gateway Group (AGG). This combined funding from the governments of Canada and Manitoba will finish work on the Hudson Bay Railway, start to redevelop the Port of Churchill, and further benefit the communities and sectors of the economy that depend on the Arctic Gateway Group’s operations.

The Arctic Gateway Group is a partnership of 41 First Nation and Bayline communities in Manitoba. The Hudson Bay Railway, owned and operated by the Arctic Gateway Group, is the only affordable year-round, all-weather mode of transportation for both passenger and freight traffic to access several northern Manitoba communities. The rail line is essential for supply chains, local food security and regional connectivity. Its unique community-ownership model represents ongoing steps toward economic reconciliation in Canada.

The investment announced today builds on the governments of Canada and Manitoba’s previous commitments to restore critical rail service to Churchill and surrounding communities. The Hudson Bay Railway is the backbone of the region, serving remote and Indigenous communities, and linking the Port of Churchill as the only deep-water Arctic port connected to the North American surface transportation network. The port is positioned to import and export commodities, critical minerals and natural resource products through the Arctic and to the world and strengthen Canada’s northern sovereignty and security.

In 2018, the federal government committed to the repair and maintenance of the Hudson Bay Railway. This saw the creation of the Arctic Gateway Group and the acquisition of the Hudson Bay Railway, Port of Churchill and Marine Tank Farm. In 2022, a collaboration between the Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba further ensured the railway remained operational for all who benefit from its use. Over the last two construction seasons, repair and maintenance work on the line replaced over 8.9 per cent (166,000) of rail ties, resurfaced two-million feet (610 kilometres) of track, upgraded and repaired over 10 bridges and installed fresh ballast rock on 23 per cent of the track between The Pas and Churchill, Manitoba.

Manitoba is home to 29 of the 31 critical minerals that have been identified as essential to the net-zero transition. As a gateway to the Arctic, the Hudson Bay Railway and Port of Churchill are important national assets to facilitate northern economic development and reconciliation in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

(Governments of Canada and Manitoba news release)

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