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Saskatchewan agriculture minister says port of Churchill may be lost cause

Lyle Porter says the port of Churchill is in disrepair

Saskatchewan’s agriculture┬áminister says his government won’t be offering any subsidies to re-open the port of Churchill in Manitoba, saying it may be a lost cause.

Lyle Stewart says the port’s owner, Omnitrax, received fairly substantial subsidies yet could not maintain the port as a profitable business.

Stewart says the rail line is in disrepair and the shut-down may not have a major impact to Saskatchewan, noting only two per cent of the province’s grain crops are shipped through Churchill.

Omnitrax closed the port last month and laid off dozen of workers.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has suggested Omnitrax closed the facility because the province would not continue giving the company a subsidy for the operation.

Pallister said the previous NDP government gave Omnitrax roughly $800,000 last year to keep the port running under an agreement that contained a confidentiality clause.

Some groups have called on the federal government to provide support to ensure the port remains open for grain movement.

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