The vice-president of the Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) believes an important part of a deal to ensure the Port of Churchill’s commercial success is the reopening of CN Railway’s Tisdale rail subdivision.
The Tisdale rail line from Crooked River to Hudson Bay, Sask., is currently inactive.
“The closure of the Tisdale subdivision requires grain from northeast Saskatchewan to travel hundreds of kilometres further than necessary to reach the rail head at the Pas, Manitoba,” APAS vice-president Ian Boxall said in a press release.
“Once the port reopens for grain shipments, we are concerned that these additional freight costs will continue to undermine Churchill’s commercial potential.”
The organization said they wrote to senior management at CN to stress the importance of the Tisdale rail line.
APAS president Todd Lewis also wrote to federal ministers, commending them for reaching an agreement in principle to facilitate the transfer of ownership of the Hudson Bay Rail line and Port of Churchill.
He added that the Churchill’s future success is very important to Saskatchewan agricultural producers.
“Churchill is the closest tide water port for a significant grain growing region in northeast Saskatchewan,” Lewis wrote.
“The port provides favourable access to European and African markets and will likely be the only port in Canada to offer independent grain handling and vessel loading services.”
Lewis said APAS is pleased to see the transfer of ownership occurring with the recent passage of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act.