Government of Canada Helps Diversify Port of Churchill
Tisdale, Saskatchewan, April 13, 2012 – The town and Port of Churchill will benefit from diversification of business with the support of the Government of Canada. Today, at the Hudson Bay Route Association’s Annual General Meeting, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the launch of the Churchill Port Utilisation Program to support shipments of a variety of grains through the Port of Churchill.
"Our Government remains focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, and the grain industry is a key part of the economy," said Minister Ritz. "This program will ensure that the Port of Churchill remains a strategic shipping option for our farmers and grain companies who want to take advantage of this world-class facility."
The Churchill Port Utilization Program will provide up to $25 million over five years to help maintain the historical volume of grain going through the Port, expand the Port’s customer base and provide it with time to pursue additional long-term commercial opportunities. Applications are now available online.
The new program is part of a package of government initiatives that include:
- Providing up to $4.1 million over three years through Transport Canada for Port maintenance;
- Extending the project completion date from 2013 to 2015 for infrastructure improvements funded through Western Economic Diversification Canada; and
- Exploring options for the development of the community of Churchill.
The Churchill Port Utilization Program will be in place over the five-year transition to marketing freedom in Western Canada that began with the coming into force of the new Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act in December of last year.
Thanks to the Harper Government, Western Canadian farmers now have the freedom to choose how they sell their products - either on the open market or to a voluntary, viable Canadian Wheat Board.
More information on the Churchill Port Utilization Program and the application process is available on the website at www.agr.gc.ca/cpup or by calling 1-877-290-2188.Backgrounder
On December 15, 2011, the Parliament of Canada passed the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, which removes the Canadian Wheat Board single-desk monopoly for wheat, barley and durum beginning August 1, 2012.
This legislation changed the way in which wheat and barley will be marketed in Western Canada. For more than 50 years, the CWB has been the primary supplier of business to the Port of Churchill. Grain marketers other than the CWB have not been allowed to market Western Canadian wheat and barley other than for domestic feed, and they will need time to adjust to the various marketing channels now available to them.
The Government of Canada recognizes that the Port of Churchill continues to be an important shipping option for wheat and barley, and that it has the potential to be an option for other products as well. At the same time, it will need time to adjust to a new grain marketing model in Western Canada.
With the Churchill Port Utilisation Program, the Government is taking action to provide the Port with an opportunity to pursue new commercial opportunities. The program has been designed to encourage grain marketers who have never shipped through Churchill to consider the feasibility of using the Port. It will provide an economic incentive to support shipments of wheat and barley through the Port of Churchill, as well as other grains including oilseeds, pulses and special crops.
Eligible recipients, including the CWB, will receive a per-tonne economic incentive to be applied to the overall cost of shipping grain, based on loading onto an outbound ocean-going vessel at the Port of Churchill.
For more information, media may contact:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
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