KAP president Dan Mazier is calling on the federal government to step in with immediate action to keep the Port of Churchill running until the end of the 2016 shipping season, following the recent closure.
“This is a major blow to us, especially when there appears to be an exceptionally large crop coming,” said Mazier. “The last time we had a large crop, grain movement through the port was up 50 per cent over the previous year. We’ve had so many issues shipping our grain east and west to port, and this was an excellent option. If ever there was a case for government intervention, this is it.”
Mazier says he is very surprised because OmniTrax, the port’s owner, indicated very recently that the coming season was looking good.
“And now the company is saying there isn’t enough grain coming in – something doesn’t add up,” he said.
Mazier is also asking the federal government to come up with a plan that will ensure the port opens for the 2017 season, and beyond.
“We don’t want to lose this facility permanently, and the longer it stays shut, the more possible that scenario becomes,” he said.
The Churchill facility was owned by the federal government until the mid-90s, when it was sold to OmniTrax.