Published on : Saturday, September 9, 2017
The federal government of Canada has appointed a former top bureaucrat as a negotiator to help to solve the Churchill rail issue, by finding the new owner for the railway line if the US based owner won’t meet its contractual obligations.
Winnipeg–Churchill train also known as the Churchill rail line which is formerly known as the Hudson Bay and prior to that Northern Spirits, is a semiweekly commuter train that is operated by Via Rail between Winnipeg and Churchill, Manitoba.
It is the only dry land connection between Churchill and the rest of Canada. In the summers of 2017, this railway track was closed for the lack of maintenance and the track damages.
The high profile government officials from Ottawa, the capital city of Canada is dispatching the former Privy Council Clerk Wayne Wouters to work out differences between two competing groups interested in buying the rail line and the port from Denver-based Omnitrax and get a deal as soon as possible so the line to the northern Manitoba town can be fixed.
The federal government of Canada said it hopes Wouters can bring together the interested buyers, the Province of Manitoba and the rail line’s owner, Omnitrax, to find a positive and permanent solution.
In the meantime, as the winter is fast approaching and time to repair the flood-damaged line is running out. In the event that Omnitrax is not willing to satisfy its contractual obligations, the government of Canada will work to assist the discussion for the transfer of the rail line to a new owner.
Because time is short, Ottawa is also now willing to consider the provisional funding to ensure the restoration of the rail service, if the contractual conditions meet.
The Senior executives at Omnitrax have said the company cannot afford to repair the rail line and considers it a public utility. Omnitrax Canada president Merv Tweed said that the company authorities are pleased that the Government of Canada has agreed to repair the line.
Omnitrax Canada is also pleased that the federal government is willing to support the First Nations group in their effort to purchase the asset.
Omnitrax have come to a fair and reasonable agreement to transfer the railway assets to the Missinippi consortium and the mutual agreement is waiting only for the generous support of the federal government of Canada.