Pallister Still Missing In Action on Churchill

One year after rail line shut down, no meaningful action taken by provincial government

May 23, 2018

On the anniversary of the closure of the rail line to Churchill, NDP Leader Wab Kinew condemned the Pallister Government for their failure to be a meaningful partner in efforts to get the line running again.

Over the past year, the provincial government has repeatedly failed to take action to help northern residents affected by the rail line shut down. They refused to declare a provincial state of emergency. They have not effectively lobbied the federal government to make it a priority to get the line running again. They have refused to join efforts initiated by the NDP to seek a ruling from the Canadian Transportation Agency that could force Omnitrax to repair the line.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew is the only leader of a provincial party to visit Churchill since the rail line shut down, holding a town hall and meeting with local businesses, health care workers, and town officials. Kinew heard first-hand how challenging things have gotten for residents in Churchill.

“Today is a sad anniversary for all Manitobans. It’s fundamentally unfair that those living and working in Churchill and the surrounding communities have been cut off,” said Kinew. “When we needed real action to help families and businesses after the rail line washed out, all we got was a provincial government that did everything they could to deflect responsibility and point the finger at someone else.”

Kinew reiterated calls for provincial support of the complaint made by the NDP to the Canadian Transportation Agency against Omnitrax.

“While the provincial government does nothing we’re taking action, and we will continue to do everything in our power to stand for the people of Churchill and for all northern Manitobans,” said Kinew. “It’s not too late for Pallister to do the right thing and devote the full resources of the provincial government to our complaint against Omnitrax to get the line fixed as soon as possible.”