Anticipation of Manitoba’s port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay rail-line sale going through is building. The deal involving current owner Omnitrax from Denver, Colorado and a group of Manitoba First Nations are expected to finalize the sale in the short term. Omnitrax is opting out of the grain shipping business as a result of decreased numbers. After the Canadian Wheat Board dissolved and government incentives dried up, the shipping quota dwindled to 186,000 tons this past fall season- about a third of the average total for past seasons. It just seems as if Omnitrax’s heart wasn’t in the business as shipping totals have fallen consistently over the last few years. Hopes are high that a localized group with more alliances will spur growth and provide consistent employment for more local people in Churchill. Stay tuned for updates!
Canadian Prairie farmers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan have decided to press for the reestablishment of a the Canadian Wheat board, a single-desk system for marketing their grain to various world markets.
Over 50 farmers from the Pelly and Swan River areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba met last week and passed a unanimous resolution requesting the re-establishment of the Canadian Wheat Board according to the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance.
The group says the loss of the Coordinating core board has lead to an increasingly disorganized, hap – hazard rail system, inconsistent grain quality guarantees for other nations and an $6.5 billion overall income loss for farmers over the past two years.
For more than 70 years, prairie farmers were forced to sell their grains to the CWB, which then would export it to foreign markets.Former agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz passed legislation ending the Canadian Wheat Board in 2012, and last year half of its assets were ultimately sold off to Saudi-owned G-3 Global Grain Group.
Ritz at the time had this to say: “Overall, logistics have been good,” said Ritz. “We’re seeing market share in premium markets going up. We’ve had no problem at all when we’re talking free trade agreements with other countries, they welcome the opportunity to buy more Canadian wheat. Apparently things are not going as planned.
However, with he Port of Churchill under consideration for purchase by a native group in Canada from current owner Omnitrax, this possible “renewed” direction could bode well for more consistent shipping from the Arctic port.