Government of Canada invests in a prosperous future and safe, reliable transportation in northern Manitoba

News release

August 6, 2021 — Winnipeg, Treaty 1 Territory, Manitoba — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting economic development in Indigenous and northern communities and safeguarding transportation in northern Manitoba.

Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, and the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, announced up to $40 million for the Arctic Gateway Group Limited Partnership (AGG). This investment will help facilitate the urgent repairs and maintenance required for the continued operation of  the Hudson Bay Railway.

Today's announcement will have numerous positive impacts. By helping to keep the railway operating,  Indigenous and northern communities in Manitoba will have continued and more reliable access to essential goods such as groceries, fuel and medicine. The Government of Canada's continued support enables reliable transportation that connects northerners in Manitoba, including Indigenous Peoples, to the CN railway, family and friends and municipalities, such as The Pas and Winnipeg. Furthermore, this investment will improve the railway's shipping capacity by enabling it to transport heavier loads at higher speeds.  

The funding announced today supports economic development in Indigenous and northern communities in Manitoba, and it reinforces the Government of Canada's commitment to support industries and companies helping to expand opportunities in the North. As a majority Indigenous-owned entity, approximately 70% of AGG employees are Indigenous.  

As the Hudson Bay Railway connects with the Port of Churchill, a hub for shipping goods to the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, repairs to the railway will also help support the supply of goods to communities in Nunavut.

Today's announcement is an example of a coordinated, whole-of-government, partnership-based approach towards unlocking the immediate and longer-term economic benefits for Indigenous and northern communities.


“Investments in Indigenous-owned companies such as the Arctic Gateway Group boost Indigenous participation in the economy and help move us one step closer to reconciliation. The Hudson Bay Railway is a vital piece of infrastructure to northern Manitoba communities, and to communities across Canada’s North. We will continue investing in the well-being of those communities, and communities across Canada.”

The Honourable Jim Carr
Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies

"The funding announced today is an investment in infrastructure with important economic and social impacts that will be felt throughout the Prairies and the Territories. The Arctic Gateway Group is a majority Indigenous-owned entity that employs Indigenous Peoples and connects the North with the South, businesses with markets, and Indigenous and northern communities with essential goods. We are pleased to invest in these connections, in the railway and in Northern Manitoba."

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

"Connecting communities and creating greater economic opportunity in the North is a priority for our government. With this investment, the Government of Canada is improving transportation, maintaining essential connections, and lowering costs of goods like groceries and medicine for northern Manitobans and Nunavummiut. We are supporting jobs and communities, and we are investing in a resilient and prosperous future."

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

"Canada's transportation networks are the arteries of our economy, moving people and vital goods throughout the country. I am pleased that the Arctic Gateway Group is receiving funding from Indigenous Services Canada to repair, maintain and upgrade the Hudson Bay Railway. This investment in infrastructure will have important economic and social benefits for Indigenous and northern communities."

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"We are very pleased to see this important strategic investment and see this as a further strengthening of our relationship with the Government of Canada that was forged during the acquisition phase. This investment continues to show how true partnerships bring economic prosperity and is a perfect example of economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples."

Onekanew Christian Sinclair
Opaskawayak Cree Nation and Arctic Gateway Group co-chairman

"OneNorth communities have taken bold steps to unlock our economic potential through direct ownership of the Arctic Gateway Group. A strengthened arctic gateway corridor will benefit Canada and will ensure stability of these national assets leading to sustained traffic growth, employment and innovation. The Government of Canada's support is an important next step in the continued work that lies ahead"

His Worship Michael Spence
Mayor of Churchill and Arctic Gateway Group co-chairman

"It has been a true pleasure to work collaboratively with so many motivated individuals in government on this initiative. We appreciate the vote of confidence in AGG's long term vision of a sound, reliable, rail corridor facilitating a vibrant Canadian Arctic port that hasn't yet reached its true export potential. This funding is crucial in assisting AGG to be able to begin some common-sense initiatives that will ultimately achieve these goals."

Sheldon Affleck
CEO, Arctic Gateway Group

Quick facts

  • The Hudson Bay Railway joins the CN line in The Pas connecting northern communities and Churchill. The funding announced today will improve the railway with a focus on the line between Gillam and Churchill.

  • The Arctic Gateway Group Limited Partnership (AGG) is a community-owned organization, with a Board of Directors representing 29 Indigenous and 12 non-Indigenous communities along the Hudson Bay Railway in northern Manitoba.

  • In 2018, the Government of Canada provided $117 million to the AGG. Of this amount, $74 million supported the acquisition and repairs to the Hudson Bay Railway and Port Terminal assets, and $43 million supported operations and enhancements.

  • The Strategic Partnerships Initiative is an innovative, horizontal initiative that fosters federal coordination to boost Indigenous participation in economic opportunities.

  • Funding is through Indigenous Services Canada's Strategic Partnerships Initiative.

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For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Antoine Tremblay
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Annie Cullinan
Press Secretary
Office of the Special Representative for the Prairies

Geraldine Anderson
Director of Communications
Office of the Special Representative for the Prairies
Media Relations
Privy Council Office

Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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