What is to be Done with the Port of Churchill?


bill barilko
+2
#1  Top Rated Post
A messy situation with all the usual suspects-foreign corporations on the gubmint teat, hillbilly locals facing another season on welfare, the brutal fact is that northern Canada doesn't nearly pay it's way/never has and never will in the lifetime of anyone posting here.

Apologies for posting such a lousy article it reads like it was written by a high school student and is about as informative


What the closure of an Arctic seaport in Manitoba could mean for Canada
Closure of Canada's only deepwater mainland Arctic port may pose a sovereignty problem


The Port of Churchill is Canada's only rail-accessible deepwater port on Arctic waters

It's always a big deal when a small town loses its largest employer. But Churchill, Man., is not just any town — and its port is not just any business.

The Port of Churchill is the only deepwater link between Canada's Arctic waters and its railroad network. Or at least it was before Monday, when Denver-based OmniTrax shut it down, offering little warning and even less in the way of an explanation.

Port of Churchill layoffs 'came out of nowhere,' says town's mayor
The closure stunned the town of about 750, where roughly one in 10 people are employed by the port at some point of the year. The shockwave then rippled down the 1,300-kilometre Hudson Bay Railway through railroad communities like The Pas, Man., before fanning out into the grain fields of northwestern Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan.

The closure of this port, however, is not just a regional economic calamity, like a shuttered pulp and paper mill or under-capacity fish-processing plant.

At a time when climate change is opening up the Arctic Ocean to shipping, and powerful nations like Russia and China pose new threats to Canada's sovereignty, the viability of the only deepwater port connected to the nation's transportation network is no small matter.

'Once it's gone, it's gone'

While the Port of Churchill has struggled economically since its inception, it remains an asset of strategic importance to Canada, even if Ottawa no longer owns it.

"It's actually a real attribute to have a port with a connection to the North American rail grid in the north," said Hugh Stephens, an executive fellow with the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy and a trade expert.

While he questions whether grain shipments will ever make the Port of Churchill profitable, he suggested it may be foolish to scrap the Hudson Bay coastline port at a time when other nations are casting their gaze on the Arctic Ocean.

"There could be an argument to maintain it," said Stephens, speaking in a telephone interview from Toronto. "Once it's gone, it's gone, and that's the real concern.

"Now, if it's not economically viable as a grain-shipping port, before you blow the whole thing up, have a long, hard look at what the strategic value could be."

While climate change already has had a noticeable effect on Arctic waters, the reduction in thickness and prevalence of Arctic sea ice has yet to spark a northern shipping boom.

Container ships are not yet common in Canada's Northwest Passage, which nations such as China view as international waters. Shipping traffic on its far more navigable Russian counterpart, the Northern Sea Route, has actually diminished thanks to soft economic conditions, Stephens said.

Factors such as insurance rates, the size of shipping containers and the economy all have a more noticeable effect on shipping than the presence of sea ice, he added, noting that even completely ice-free Arctic summers would only extend the Hudson Bay shipping season by only a few weeks.

But the economics of Arctic shipping haven't stopped Russia from developing a series of rail-accessible Arctic ports. It also hasn't prevented China and the U.S. from exploring the concept of Arctic shipping, either, probably as a prelude to ocean-floor resource extraction.

Canada has been slow to bolster its own Arctic presence, even though the former Harper government made Arctic sovereignty a priority. Nanisivik, a deepwater military port on the north side of Baffin Island, was announced in 2007 but won't be finished until 2018. Plans to build an icebreaker capable of plowing through multi-year sea ice have also been delayed.

Whether the Trudeau government sees the Port of Churchill as a strategic asset is unknown, as the Liberal government in Ottawa took more than 24 hours to issue a brief statement about the closure.

At the same time, municipal and provincial politicians — as well as opposition MPs — condemned the surprise move by OmniTrax, which declined to utter a peep about the port's closure for more than 24 hours after it informed employees they were being laid off.

'We could have grown it so much better'

It may have been a mistake for the Chrétien government to sell the Port of Churchill to a private interest in 1997, said Dan Mazier, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, an organization that represents Manitoba farmers.

"We could have grown it so much better," he opined, referring to public stewardship of the port.

Before the sudden closure, OmniTrax was in the midst of selling the port, along with the Hudson Bay Railway, to several northern Manitoba First Nations.

In some ways, not much has changed at Churchill since the 18th century, when the Hudson's Bay Company spent decades building Prince of Wales Fort across the mouth of the Churchill River — only to see the trading post fail to muster up the expected business with the Cree, Dene and Inuit locals. The fort was surrendered to the French navy without firing a single shot in defence.

The grain-shipping port only wound up at Churchill after a First World War-era plan to build the port down the coast, at the mouth of the Nelson River, collapsed in what was then a national scandal.

The port finally opened at the start of the Depression and never met expectations. It was overshadowed at Churchill by a Cold War-era airbase which helped enlarge the town's population to more than 6,000 people before it, too, was decommissioned and dismantled.

Churchill is also home to a defunct rocket range, an offshore shipwreck, the decaying fuselage of a crashed plane and the eerie foundations of a dismantled village built for a group of forcibly relocated Dene.

Residents of the town hope the Port of Churchill doesn't join the long and haunting list of decaying machines, buildings and infrastructure projects at the edge of Hudson Bay.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#2
tHAT'S WHAT i WANT, my brother works up there till the freeze You can pick that iron mine I got a chun k of that ore a tank can be cooked out of that stuff in three steps, I can provide the details coordinates whatevwer, we are recruting young vibrant Canadians like you

Veery rich fifty tons of tank fior five thousand tons of ore bearng the whole -lace is magnetic.

The Neoiceage is who I represent, global warming will freeze you solid.

If you want to go to sea you will want to go with my brother, all seven of them, my brother hast never lost a ship, they won't sink if he's aboard.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#3
Sounds like a perfect fit for oil-by-rail into the markets
 
petros
+1
#4
2 Reasons

The problem that plagued the rail line from day one is the muskeg and frost. They can only carry heavy freight and grain in winter. The grain is limited to aluminum grain cars.

That rail line abutts my property.

With WCB toast and Harper selling off Canadian Grain Car Crown Corp cars, farmers can't afford to privately sell to Asia or Europe over the closer logical polar route. I get a lower payout but cheaper freight selling top grade 2 row malt grade barley in Nor Am.

A contract with SABMiller who make Snow beer would be nice because they'd buy it all at a set price before seed hits the ground.

Then there are moron companies that thought global warming would open the northwest passage year round. They can't afford the ice breaker fees to move their Dauphin MB grown bales of hemp and hemp seed oil.

Will Justin save them?
 
bill barilko
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

The problem that plagued the rail line from day one is the muskeg and frost. They can only carry heavy freight and grain in winter. The grain is limited to aluminum grain cars.

Sounds like the writing has been on the wall for some time now-Churchill is a goner.
 
bill barilko
+2
#6
Yet another US corporation getting rich off Canadian gov't largesse everything else is window dressing and larger & larger bills to be paid by You Know Who

Deal reached between Manitoba groups, Omnitrax for ownership of Churchill rail line

Agreement in principle still needs legal issues sorted before repairs to tracks damaged by flooding last year

The tracks have sat flood-damaged and idle for more than a year, but now a tentative deal has been struck to bring ownership of the Port of Churchill and the rail line to the northern Manitoba community on the shore of Hudson Bay back into Canadian hands.

Two groups representing northern communities and First Nations — One North and Missinippi Rail LP — joined forces with Fairfax Financial Holdings and now have an agreement in principle to buy the beleaguered assets from American company Omnitrax, the federal government announced Wednesday afternoon.

Fairfax, a Toronto-based investment company, announced last November it would partner with One North and Missinippi Rail in an effort to buy Omnitrax's northern Manitoba assets.

The recently formed buying group consists of Fairfax Financial Holdings, AGT Food and Ingredients, Missinippi Rail Limited Partnership and One North, the Wednesday release said. Missinippi and One North will operate together as Missinippi Rail Partners.

The arrangement includes the participation of 30 First Nations and 11 non-First Nation communities in northern Manitoba and seven Kivalliq communities in western Nunavut, along with Fairfax and AGT, the government said.

Specifics of the deal, including the financial details and a timeline, were not announced Wednesday.

Fairfax president Paul Rivett and Omnitrax owner Pat Broe negotiated the agreement, but there are a number of legal issues to complete before the sale is finalized.

A statement sent by Omnitrax Canada on behalf of president Merv Tweed called the agreement the "best outcome for all stakeholders."

"We are very pleased to see an agreement in place that will ensure the long-term operations of the rail line," the statement reads. Omnitrax looks forward to "a smooth transition of ownership."

The agreement has been a long time coming for Churchill mayor and One North co-chair Mike Spence. He's been lobbying for a deal since Omnitrax began cutting rail service to his community nearly two years ago.

"This is an historic partnership involving Indigenous and northern communities with industry leaders that now positions the Port of Churchill as an Arctic gateway for future prosperity."

"The people of northern Manitoba have long understood the value of the rail line," natural resources minister and Manitoba MP Jim Carr said in the government's statement.

"This agreement in principle allows those most affected to have a direct stake in the future and long-term interests of their communities."

Ottawa took Omnitrax to court over its refusal to repair the tracks last year, but later removed Omnitrax Inc. from its statement of claim.

The rail line to Churchill was washed out by a flood in May 2017.

Denver-based Omnitrax refused to repair the tracks, saying it couldn't afford the cost and had been trying to sell the northern port and rail line.

The company estimated the cost of repairs at between $40 million and $60 million.

Residents along the line and in Churchill, a town of 900 approximately 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg, have faced increasing costs for all sorts of commodities, including heating fuel and gasoline.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last year it was Omnitrax's responsibility to do the work and get the line open. The federal government offered subsidies to northern residents to help with rising costs.


Wednesday's announcement also has significance for First Nations along the rail route.

"Bold investments into much needed infrastructure will create long-term socioeconomic growth for the North," wrote Opaskwayak Cree Nation Onekanew Chief Christian Sinclair, who is also a co-chair of the One North group.

"We see immediate opportunities to support the success and growth of the business, creating opportunities for OCN and for all of our partners in northern Manitoba."

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said in a written statement he was "very pleased" to see the agreement and praised the work of the federal government and the consortium in reaching it.

"Obviously we need to understand the details of this agreement more fully," the statement reads.

Pallister reiterated the government's support for Churchill and said the province will continue to work with northern communities, the new partnership and the federal government.

A firm timeline on when work crews can get on the rail tracks and start repairs must wait until some of the legal issues are worked out between the consortium and Omnitrax.
 
petros
+1
#7
Good.

Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilko View Post

Sounds like the writing has been on the wall for some time now-Churchill is a goner.

OmniTrax was banking on the Crown Grain Car Corp handing over the aluminum grain cars but no such luck.
 
Curious Cdn
Conservative
#8
Why doesn't the Navy make that port their Northern base instead of building at Nanisivik.
 
bill barilko
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

.....OmniTrax was banking on the Crown Grain Car Corp handing over the aluminum grain cars but no such luck.

If those are same aluminum rail cars built in a shop where a relative of mine worked they're crazy expensive.

Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Why doesn't the Navy make that port their Northern base instead of building at Nanisivik.

Too far south.
 
Curious Cdn
Conservative
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilko View Post

If those are same aluminum rail cars built in a shop where a relative of mine worked they're crazy expensive.


Too far south.

Too far from the strategic Northwest Passage, I guess.
 
petros
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilko View Post

If those are same aluminum rail cars built in a shop where a relative of mine worked they're crazy expensive.

So are the steel ones but yeah it's nuts.
 
Twin_Moose
Conservative
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Why doesn't the Navy make that port their Northern base instead of building at Nanisivik.

Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilko View Post

If those are same aluminum rail cars built in a shop where a relative of mine worked they're crazy expensive.


Too far south.

It would be too convenient for re-supply from the Railway
 
Curious Cdn
Conservative
+2
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Twin_Moose View Post

It would be too convenient for re-supply from the Railway

That's what I was thinking. A conveyor belt of Hercs flying from Shearwater to Nanisivik is much more fun.
Last edited by Curious Cdn; May 31st, 2018 at 10:55 AM..
 
bill barilko
+2
#14
Let the bells ring out and the banners fly-the Gubmint Teat is Back!!

Churchill residents rejoice as rail service gets back on track

1st rail cars in over a year arrived in northern community Wednesday night


Hudson Bay Railway locomotives travelled the repaired track to Churchill Wednesday night, for the first time in nearly a year and a half.

Residents of Churchill have taken to the streets to celebrate after the federal government announced full passenger and freight rail service should be restored to the northern Manitoba community by the end of the month.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement at the Port of Churchill this morning, as hundreds of residents gathered for a street party to celebrate the arrival last night of the first train into Churchill in 18 months.

"Churchill, as Canada's only Arctic deep water port, is something I'm very optimistic about," Trudeau said.

"Supporting the North is of fundamental importance to the future of Canada."

he announcement is part of a $117-million commitment the federal government is making to resurrect both the rail line and Canada's only deep water Arctic port.

For the last 20 years, the port has struggled in the face short shipping seasons, changing agricultural markets and indifferent ownership.

Many here say the deal is critical to save the northern community and others in the Arctic that rely on it.

"It's a really good day, when we heard the train whistles going, it felt just like the good old days," said millwright Kim Kushniryk, who works on and off at the port.

She's looking forward to finally having steady work when next year's shipping season starts.
"Food and fuel has gone up, everything has gone up and up wages never increased," Kushniryk said.

Churchill has been without rail service since May 2017, when record flooding washed out portions of the approximately 400-kilometre track leading to Hudson Bay in 20 different places. That made the town of 800 on the Manitoba shore of Hudson Bay a fly-in only community.

Denver-based owner Omni-Trax balked at paying repairs, originally estimated at $60 million, and held out for a sale.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manit...mber-1.4887333
 
Mowich
Conservative
#15
Great news. I do hope that any future problems with the rail line will be dealt with promptly, considering we (Canadians) now own the line.
 
Curious Cdn
Conservative
+2
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

Great news. I do hope that any future problems with the rail line will be dealt with promptly, considering we (Canadians) now own the line.

Agreed.

If Canadians are going to claim the North as our own, we have to put our money where our mouths are and do something positive to support the North, now and then.
 
JamesBondo
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Agreed.
If Canadians are going to claim the North as our own, we have to put our money where our mouths are and do something positive to support the North, now and then.

What are you saying here? are you saying that Canada doesn't do anything positive to support the North?
 
Curious Cdn
Conservative
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondo View Post

What are you saying here? are you saying that Canada doesn't do anything positive to support the North?

Not bloody much ... not a quarter of what the Russians do in their North. They are there to stay, though but most Canadians just think "What's in it for ME?!"
 
Bar Sinister
No Party Affiliation
+1
#19
Given that it may soon be ice free all year, why not use it to ship goods from the Prairies, especially since BC has become so unreliable.
 
petros
#20
Ice free all year? It won't be sunless for 3 months any longer?

Perhaps you should start selling Coppertone to Inuit for those bright and balmy days at the beach in January.

You'll make a killing.
 
DaSleeper
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister View Post

Given that it may soon be ice free all year, why not use it to ship goods from the Prairies, especially since BC has become so unreliable.


 
MHz
#22
The port should be used to service Hudson Bay communities and those communities should agree to buy through Amazon only and Churchill can be the depot for the north. The fishing boats are not busy all the time so they can do a delivery service. Ice in the winter time allows for ice roads.


Mats, buoyant ones, made out of woven flax or hemp so they last 20 years and then become soil under the rails would spread out the load and design them properly the would have a high R-Value so slow down the melting and the ground could be artificially kept frozen year round if heavy loads were in demand year round. 40,000 online shoppers needs something that operates 24/7. I'm sure Winnipeg would like to get in on the action.


I can appreciate the Canadian Govt getting involved as they have money and talent. They also fuked the Indians over as often as possible in the past and a watchdog should be set up until the Indian can train some of their own people to be able to at least read a contract to see if it is fair to both parties rather than the worst service possiblefor above premium prices



Hudson Bay is a closed body or water, Purina or somebody should be able to use some grain to create some pellets for fish and the locals can increase their harvest that way without fearing they can be stolen
 
MHz
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post


The good ones can also make them rise, best of luck with your snake oil salesman.
 
MHz
#24
This thread and the other one where the rail service is mentioned point to heavy in the winter and light in the summer and that will work if all the heavy stuff last till the frost comes again. Since the frost is not far away anchors could be used.

In the water logged areas a plastic extension on the rail tie would all allow more weight. The Pacific has lots of the stuff that floats and nobody will get shot if some is 'stolen'. Ontario needs a short term industry as it might open the north to more rail lines once they are all plastic. Screw in 'spikes' would mean the leveling crew can do a lot of miles in a day, freeze-up when the water is ice is when that would be needed.
AB could be kicking new floating 20ft x 4ft ties by X-mas of this year. New plastic for plastic that should be using recycled.
 
Bar Sinister
No Party Affiliation
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Ice free all year? It won't be sunless for 3 months any longer?

Perhaps you should start selling Coppertone to Inuit for those bright and balmy days at the beach in January.

You'll make a killing.




Just is case you missed it, modern ships can actually navigate at night. But here you go,dumbass.



Why Canada should consider shipping oil by Hudson Bay by tanker rather than overland pipeline


https://business.financialpost.com/o...via-hudson-bay


This is the polar bear capital of the world, but the snow has gone

https://www.theguardian.com/environm...ice-polar-bear
 
MHz
#26
If the trains only come 2x a week why don't the 'new owners' allow people to modify a truck so it rides the rails and can pull a couple of containers that have some wheels put under them?


Clay and water is not a good base for a set of rails to ride on. Today they make all kinds of waterproof road building fabrics that could be used to wrap the clay so it does not get wet and float away. A drilling lease can put down some of the cheaper stuff and 1m of clay and if it doesn't rain you can drive heavy loads.

Why could the peat not be dredged and pressed into a form that has little water in it and some ' industrial tote bags' could be used under the fabric so you have some cheap filler that will hold up the road until it is 'stabilized'. Even running a steel cable in the fill that is used for the sub-base can be made into a grid that hold together over what is almost a 'shallow lake'.


The more north you go it might be easier to install some pipes that go into the permafrost and bring the cold up and have some foam where the fabric is so the part below does not melt. That might also be the best way to build a house also, install some transfer tubes and some foam laid on the ground and the house on top of that and the frozen ground is stable year round. Trailers could be the same, insulate the skirting (earth berm would work) and the floor of the trailer and it will be a freezer year round so no insects under there and the need for a fridge and freezer is eliminated.

Dried peat must have some sort of R-Value.

Mixing flax straw and adding a small amount of cement powder would result in something (soil cement) almost waterproof and the straw adds strength. The ballast rock should be caged in wire like in all places where fast moving water is possible


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Churchill
The port is iced in for much of the year and is accessible only between late July and early November.[4] For example, in 2010 the shipping season was July 28 to Nov. 2.[6] Shallow waters also restrict its development as an ocean port. Despite these restrictions the port remains useful for shipping grain and other bulk cargos because shipping by rail costs several times as much, per ton, as shipping by sea.



If grain is shipped that is not a cargo that brings any goods to the Communities if it is shipped out. There are enough grain terminals for export. Perhaps the storage can be used for what the residents in the north can use and local boats can do the deliveries. Grain might be better than ready made flour so some easy way to grind it at home with something electric powered means there is no waste, or less waste which is almost as good.
I still think feeding fish is possible on a commercial scale summer and winter because no foreign boats can sneak in and take the fish. That is another use for the grain storage.


If aluminum rail cars $exist$ how about composite fiber ones right down to the wheels holding a titanium contact ring. At what point can they be made to have electric drive wheels so the heavy engine is not needed?


The rail line looks like only solid ground so the power lines should be run above the trains on their own tower and that just begs for ultra high speed electric people movers should anyone ever want to get to Winnipeg in a hurry, ever, being the key word.
Last edited by MHz; Nov 7th, 2018 at 10:43 AM..
 
spilledthebeer
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister View Post

Just is case you missed it, modern ships can actually navigate at night. But here you go,dumbass.



Why Canada should consider shipping oil by Hudson Bay by tanker rather than overland pipeline


https://business.financialpost.com/o...via-hudson-bay


This is the polar bear capital of the world, but the snow has gone

https://www.theguardian.com/environm...ice-polar-bear


================================================== ================================================== ==


PITY THE POOR LIE-berals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Blathering on about Port of Churchill- in DESPERATE HOPE of hiding the reality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Churchill is a TYPICAL CDN municipality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


ALL Cdn municipalities are STONY BROKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Churchill can no more afford to maintain the rail link- than Toronto can afford that new subway they so desperately NEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is the face of BANKRUPTCY that LIE-berals have driven us to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Churchill municipal govt, Ontari-owe provincial govt and Our idiot Boy Justin and his federal govt all sat down to play liars poker!!!!!!!!!!


The loser gets to pay the lions share of restoring the Churchill rail link!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Better get used to this kind of govt squabbling- it is a big part of being bankrupt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wynne-bag LIE-berals drove Ontari-owe into world record breaking levels of debt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our idiot Boy Justin is now driving the ENTIRE COUNTRY into record breaking levels of debt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


As I said back in summer 2015- Our idiot Boy in engaged in a larger, more costly, more destructive version of the old Bob Rae/NDP plan to make Ontari-owe rich with BORROWED money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I also predicted that of Our idiot Boy was elected- he would perform a magic trick and make ALL our jobs and money disappear!


I also predicted that because Our idiot Boy does not understand just how his "trick" works- he will NOT be able to make the jobs or money re-appear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
JamesBondo
#28
. . . .
 

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