Manitoba First Nation offers to buy port and rail line in Churchill

January 11, 2016

By The Canadian Press

CHURCHILL, Man. – The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation says it has made an offer to purchase the Port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay rail line from OmniTrax Canada.Website Insert New Passenger Train Service copy

The Denver-based company said last month it had accepted a letter of intent to buy the troubled rail line and port from a Manitoba First Nation, but did not say which one.

On Friday, Chief Arlen Dumas announced his band is inviting other northern First Nations to join a consortium that would own both enterprises.

The northern Manitoba First Nation issued a media release calling its bid a “historic deal that will provide substantial benefits to First Nations and Manitobans alike.”

Churchill is Canada’s only deep-water northern port and relies heavily on grain shipments from western farmers.

Those grain shipments were less than half the normal 500,000 tonnes last year, which prompted OmniTrax to look for a new owner.

“It is a pleasure working with Chief Dumas and his council,” Merv Tweed, the president of OmniTrax, said Friday.

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