The Manitoba government’s deficit of $911 million this year also makes a bailout financially unrealistic

No bailouts for OmniTrax

By —— Bio and Archives--July 29, 2016

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REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on both the federal and provincial governments to stop subsidizing OmniTrax and deny any future demands for a bailout.

“This is a tough situation for people in Churchill, but we have to be honest: millions of dollars from taxpayers won’t solve the problem,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Both the federal and provincial governments are running significant deficits and we simply cannot afford to waste more money on failed corporate welfare schemes.”


OmniTrax, which owns the railroad and port in Churchill, Man., has received numerous subsidies, including $25 million over five years from the federal government announced in 2012 and $800,000 to $1 million from the provincial government last year. That comes to more than $65,000 for each of the 90 OmniTrax jobs in Churchill just last year.

Last year, the Churchill port exported 525,200 metric tonnes of grain. To put that in perspective, total Canadian grain exports totaled 39.7 million metric tonnes. Grain exporters are choosing other ports for more than 98% of their business.

“Even if governments doubled and redoubled the huge taxpayer-funded subsidies handed over to OmniTrax, is there any reason to believe jobs in Churchill would be any more secure than they are today?” Asked MacKay. “If customers are choosing other ports to ship grain, the reality is that more taxpayer dollars won’t solve the problem.”

The Manitoba government’s deficit of $911 million this year also makes a bailout financially unrealistic.

“Manitoba doesn’t have the money to pay for corporate welfare,” said MacKay. “Pouring more money into OmniTrax would add to the provincial debt and ultimately put even more jobs at risk.”


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