Government of Canada announces support for acquisition and repair of Churchill rail line by Arctic Gateway Group

News release

September 14, 2018 - Winnipeg, Manitoba  

The Government of Canada believes in the future and long term prosperity of northern Manitoba. 

Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced an investment of $117 million to the Arctic Gateway Group through the Western Diversification Program.  It allows this historic private-public partnership that blends First Nations and community ownership and Canadian private sector leadership, to take over ownership of the Hudson Bay Rail Company, the Hudson Bay Port Company and the Churchill Marine Tank Farm.

The Government is making good on its commitment to restore this critical railway line to Churchill and surrounding communities. It will create opportunities for economic prosperity in the region for years to come and for residents to once again connect with friends and family, grow businesses, and create good middle class jobs.  Already, the Group has begun the much-needed restoration of the Hudson Bay Railway Line.  The line is expected to grow into a key transportation and export hub.  The Arctic Gateway Group has brought forward a viable business plan with a view to expand Canada’s reach to international markets.

Given the Government’s commitment to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, this partnership represents another step forward towards the equal and inclusive participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada, having a direct stake in the operation of the companies upon which they rely. 

The Government of Canada would like to thank those involved, including our Chief Negotiator, the Honorable Wayne Wouters, and the team at McCarthy Tétrault for their efforts in reaching a successful outcome. 


“Today’s announcement is about investing in the future of our economy and Indigenous peoples in Canada.  With this funding, Arctic Gateway Group will provide security and economic prosperity to northern Manitobans and demonstrate the art of the possible when we work together to build a prosperous Canada.”

- The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“We committed to find a solution to restore the Hudson Bay Rail line and we delivered.  I am happy to say that repairs have begun and all efforts will be made to restore service before winter freeze up.  This collaboration has historic significance and we are excited to see the success the future will bring.”

- The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

“We know that quality infrastructure is necessary to unleashing the economic potential of a region. The Hudson Bay Railway Line is not only a vital mainland connection for the town of Churchill and surrounding communities, it represents an important transportation and commercial hub for economic prosperity in the region.  This is part of laying the foundation for good jobs and growth in Western Canada.” 

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

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Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary

Nathalie Leroux
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada

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