November 13, 2017 4:47 pm

Transport Canada ready to move forward with Omnitrax lawsuit over Churchill rail line

The flooded OmniTrax rail line from Gillam to Churchill.

Omnitrax / Supplied
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The federal government said it’s ready to follow through on a promise to pursue legal action against OmniTrax over its flooded rail line.

The rail line is the only year round access to Churchill and has been inoperable since May as a result of spring flooding. The feds said OmniTrax is contractually obligated to repair the line and pay for those costs but OmniTrax has said they’ll do the repairs if another entity helps pay for it.

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READ MORE: Justin Trudeau: Feds will use all options to make Omnitrax pay for Churchill rail repairs

A month ago OmniTrax released a report outlining a 30-day plan for temporary fixes to the damaged line that would allow light loads to be carried on the line. OmniTrax said the temporary fixes would cost upwards of $10 million.

After the report was released, Transport Canada threatened OmniTrax with an ultimatum: complete the 30-day plan or a lawsuit would be filed for breach of contract.

READ MORE: OmniTrax plans temporary fix for rail line; fires back at feds over lawsuit

In a statement released Monday, Transport Canada said it’s “preparing to move ahead with legal action as OmniTRAX Inc. has yet not informed the department of any repairs on the non-operational portion of its line that runs from Gillam to Churchill, Manitoba.”

The Churchill rail line was sold to OmniTrax by the federal government in 1997.

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