AGT vows to bring business to Churchill

The Hudson Bay Railway has been closed since May 2017 when severe flooding damaged the track and cut off rail access to several northern Manitoba communities. | OmniTrax photo

AGT chief executive officer Murad Al-Katib was blunt when he spoke before a crowd of about 100 people in Churchill, Man., Sept. 4.

“We’ll tell you all the good stuff, we’ll tell you all the bad stuff. And that way you know you can trust us. That’s the key,” Al-Katib told those in attendance, according to CBC News reports.

Al-Katib’s Saskatchewan pulse processor AGT Food and Ingredients, is part of a consortium that bought the Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill from United States-based Omnitrax.

AGT, along with Toronto financial group Fairfax Financial Holdings, Manitoba communities and First Nations groups make up Arctic Gateway Group, which bought the northern Manitoba railway serving Churchill, the port and a petroleum storage facility at the port.

The group hopes to have the facilities operating in less than 90 days.

Al-Katib said once the line and port are running, he expected wheat, lentils, beans and canola will be shipped through the railway and port.

He said his company will use the port and other grain companies will be invited to ship via that route as well.

AGT and Fairfax own a combined 50 percent of the port and rail line, and 50 percent is owned by the other stake holder. The group will operate the facilities under a 99-year management agreement.

The price was not disclosed.

Requests to AGT for interviews were not returned in time for this article.

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