Crisis in Churchill
Churchill is facing a crisis. It’s time to demand action from the federal government.
Churchill has been held captive by a series of natural disasters, an American company, and a lack of government aid. Starting in March with two powerful blizzards, groceries and supplies were delayed in reaching the northern Manitoba community, and now historic flooding has trapped further deliveries in the south.
Churchill became a fly-in only community in May, after the flooding damaged the Hudson Bay Rail Line, the only transportation line into the area, in 24 places. Omnitrax, the American company currently in ownership of the rail line and the port of Churchill, have estimated repairs could take until Spring 2018, and have suggested that they don’t have the funds to cover the costs.
On May 31st, a deal was struck between First Nations consortium Missinippi Rail LP and Omnitrax to transfer both the port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Rail Line to Missinippi Rail LP for $20 million.
Ottawa is walking away from a solution to the Churchill crisis. After months of negotiating the release of Churchill’s assets from Omnitrax’s control, the government of Canada has revoked all support for the project. The joint purchase of the rail line and the port by the First Nations consortium has granted some hope to a community feeling forgotten and isolated, but the lack of federal leadership has added cynicism to the situation at hand. It’s time for the federal government to step up and help the community members who’ve been working tirelessly to solve the Churchill crisis, once and for all.
This petition calls on the government of Canada to support the proposal to repair the train tracks, renationalize the Port and rail line, and work with Churchill and northern First Nations to take it forward.
Please add your name and the names of those in your community by downloading and printing off the petition, and mailing postage-free to our parliamentary office for presentation in the House of Commons.