Mr. Trudeau, enough is enough. Fix the Churchill rail line


August 20, 2018

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2

Mr. Trudeau,

A year ago, you met with Marianne Hladun and Dave Clark. Among other items, we discussed the critical situation in Churchill, Manitoba. We discussed the need to fix the rail line, and to reinvest in the Port. At that time, you gave us your assurance, that you understood the urgency before us, that the people of Churchill could count on you to help make things right.

Mr. Trudeau, a year has passed. Another hard winter is approaching quickly. The rail line is still not fixed. The community is still without necessary goods and services. Propane supplies are limited. What food is there is beyond economic reach for many. Families are making the very sad decision to leave the community – to leave their homes.

While the provincial government points to the federal government, and while your government points to the current owners of the rail line, and while lawyers argue in courts, people are struggling.

It is time for you to hold to your commitment to us. It is time for you to use federal government resources to fix that rail line immediately, so that goods and services can move now, so that the people of Churchill have access to the rest of our country, so that this coming winter isn’t quite as difficult.

We can’t imagine this happening in a southern Canadian community. We can’t imagine why these people have been abandoned for so long.

Mr. Trudeau, you are spending $4.5 billion on a pipeline. Your government has recently announced investments of over $200 million on rail infrastructure in other parts of Canada, including $5.6 million in Manitoba and $167 million in road and rail infrastructure for the Port of Vancouver and Canadian National. Surely you can find the $40 to $60 million needed to fix this line, and help these people survive.


Chris Aylward, National President

Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies

Dave Clark, National President, UCTE

c.c Niki Ashton, MP – Churchill–Keewatinook Asti, Marc Garneau, Minister of Transportation, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Dominic Leblanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, François-Phillipe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Robert Aubin, NDP Transport Critic, Brigitte Sansoucy, NDP Infrastructure and Communities Critic, Romeo Saganash, NDP Reconciliation, and Northern Development Critic, Kelly Block, CPC Transport Critic, Michael Chong, CPC Infrastructure and Communities Critic, Cathy McLeod, CPC Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Northern Development Critic.

Union of Canadian Transportation Employees

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