March 10, 2009

For Immediate Release

Halifax and Churchill team up to build bridge for grain, arctic business.

HALIFAX NS – March 10, 2009 – Two major Canadian Gateways at Halifax and Churchill have signed an agreement to jointly pursue mutual opportunities for grain exports and northern business ventures.

Lloyd Axworthy, Chairman of the Board of the Churchill Gateway Development Corporation and Stephen Dempsey, Chair of the Halifax Gateway Council, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement was also signed by Churchill Mayor Michael Spence and Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly.

“This is a partnership of national economic significance,” Mr. Dempsey said. “A business and export bridge between Churchill and Halifax holds great potential to benefit the economies of both regions and the viability of our ports.”

“By working collaboratively, the ports of Churchill and Halifax will assist in further developing Canada’s national gateway infrastructure” said Mr. Axworthy.  He went on to further say that “this joint effort will work to ensure the long term success of the Port of Churchill”.

The parties have agreed to jointly explore trade-related opportunities for companies in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.  The MOU will provide a framework for the organizations to build a reliable and cost-effective grain bridge between the two ports. The first-ever transfer of wheat between Churchill and Halifax occurred in 2007, demonstrating the potential for new grain transfer alternatives.  Bill Drew, Executive Director of the Churchill Gateway Development Corporation, said that “the two parties will continue to identify other trade and short sea transport opportunities”.

Ian White, president and CEO of the Canadian Wheat Board, said he welcomes these efforts to explore alternate transportation routes for Western Canada’s wheat growers. “Prairie farmers face enormous challenges in moving their grain vast distances to market,” he said. “The more flexibility we can build into our transportation systems, the better for grain producers. This is why we have always strongly supported the ongoing viability of Churchill.”

The Halifax Gateway Council (HGC) is a not for profit organization with a mandate to work collaboratively to increase growth in port cargo, air cargo, air passengers and cruise passengers.  The Halifax Gateway has an overall economic impact in Halifax of over $1Billion.

The Churchill Gateway Development Corporation (CGDC) is a non-share, public-private partnership and its mandate is to market the Port of Churchill through diversifying the traffic base and building two-way traffic.
For more information:

Nancy Phillips,
Halifax Gateway Council

Bill Drew,
Churchill Gateway Development Corporation