Winnipeg, MB – Indigenous and municipal leaders from northern Manitoba say a broken rail line to Churchill could be fixed in about two months if governments and the railway owner are willing to spend the money.
Chief Betsy Kennedy of the War Lake First Nation says the Keewatin Railway Company – a First-Nations-run company in northwestern Manitoba – has the manpower and expertise to get the repairs done quickly.
The railway to Churchill was knocked out by flooding last month and Denver-based owner Omnitrax has said repairs are likely to take until next spring.
Churchill Mayor Michael Spence says his town cannot wait that long.
The rail line is the only land link to Churchill, and goods and people must now be flown in at a higher cost or shipped in by barge during the short ice-free season.
There are reports that many tourists have cancelled plans to visit the town this summer, and some businesses have cut back staff and operating hours.