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Adolf Ng, Director of the Transport Institute at the University of Manitoba

UMTI director talks Churchill with CBC

November 20, 2017 — 

Adolf Ng, Director of the University of Manitoba Transport Institute (UMTI), shares his view with CBC News on the latest lawsuit and development of the disrupted rail line to Churchill.

The future of the rail line to Churchill remains uncertain. Its fate hinges on a lawsuit between Omnitrax (the current operator) and the Federal Government. A new, powerful player has also entered into the picture: Fairfax Financial Holdings joins two groups representing northern communities and First Nations — Missinippi Rail LP and One North — which have been trying to purchase the Hudson Bay Railway and Port of Churchill.

According to Ng:

Fairfax’s entry is an essential development for the local consortiums… It’s very likely the local groups would have…limited funding and may not have the extensive knowledge of the markets — transportation and Arctic shipping — that would make the rail self-sustaining in the long term… Fairfax’s involvement is a reflection that, if Omnitrax’s assets are sold, it can serve both the transportation and regional systems… That means serving the emerging Arctic import and export markets, as well as making sure people get necessities like food and fuel at a reasonable cost… Omnitrax lost an incentive to maintain or invest in the line… Regional concerns was never their top priority and…that’s normal for a private transport operator…

The full article can be found here:


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