CPA Supports Short-term Fix to Supply Propane to Churchill

The northern Manitoba community of Churchill can now rest easier knowing they will have enough propane supply to last them through the winter. 

Working with Canadian Propane Association (CPA) member Stittco Energy Limited and the provincial government, the CPA led the coordination for arranging storage tanks to be provided to the northern community. The tanks will store enough propane supply to last until June 2018.

Over the past several weeks, the CPA has been in discussions with all levels of government as well as rail line owner Omnitrax, to find solutions to repair the Hudson Bay Railway (HBR) that connects Churchill to the rest of the province. 

The HBR is a critical piece of infrastructure that enables propane and other goods to be supplied to the northern Manitoba community. The rail line was severely damaged by extreme flooding earlier this spring.

The immediate challenge for the residents of Churchill was to ensure that the community would have enough propane to heat their homes if the rail line was not repaired in time for winter. 

On August 3, CPA President and CEO Nathalie St-Pierre wrote to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister to offer appreciation for the province’s commitment of $6 million to ensure that the Town of Churchill has enough propane supply through to June 2018.

In her letter, St-Pierre noted that, "The cost of coordinating the shipment and storage of propane due to the lack of railway access would have resulted in an unfair increase in the price of propane for the residents of Churchill. The significant funding from your government will end the uncertainty regarding access to propane."

St-Pierre added that, "The CPA believes that the Hudson Bay Railway is northern Manitoba’s version of the Trans-Canada Highway and as such, provides important access. The CPA continues to encourage your government to work with the federal government, the Town of Churchill and Omnitrax to ensure the restoration of the Hudson Bay Railway as soon as possible." 

The CPA will remain engaged on this file and remains hopeful that all parties will work together to repair the HBR as soon as possible.