Canadian Manufacturing

Manitoba to bankroll marine observatory in Churchill following port closure

$9 million project is expected to create jobs in the remote Manitoba town where dozens of workers were laid off last month



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Omnitrax Canada said it would close the Port of Churchill last month, leading to dozens of layoffs

WINNIPEG—Manitoba plans to spend up to $9 million to support the construction of a new marine observatory in the northern community of Churchill.

Education Minister Ian Wishart says the University of Manitoba project will focus on Arctic research.

He says facility will enhance Canada’s ability to monitor change in nature and ensure that governments and industry have the information needed to respond to economic development pressures throughout the Arctic.

The project is expected to create jobs and bolster tourism in the northern community.

Last month Omnitrax Canada announced it was closing the Port of Churchill and laid off dozens of workers.

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.

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