Industrial rail park plan back on track

An agreement has been struck between the province and CentrePort Canada that has cleared the way for the inland port to finally get started on the development of a unique industrial rail park.

CentrePort has released a request for proposals seeking private-sector partnership for the $100 million-plus development designed to attract rail-intensive industrial tenants who will be able to access Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s main line.

The expectation is the facility will be built in phases – that could take as long as 15 years to complete – on a 665-acre parcel of land just west of Sturgeon Road on the north side of CentrePort Canada Way that the province has agreed to sell to CentrePort.

The development will include switching and spur lines connecting to the CP main line that runs through the north part of CentrePort’s 20,000-acre footprint.

The rail park concept has been in the works for years. An anchor tenant was announced more than two years ago, but the company, BroadGrain Commodities, has since gone on to do a development in Saskatchewan.

In the course of its review of provincial business commitments, the province has recently signed off on CentrePort’s business plan, including guaranteeing an additional $1.5 million to CentrePort’s line of credit.

CentrePort CEO Diane Gray said she’s confident about the potential for this development. She said in pre-marketing discussions with potential development partners from Canada and the U.S. there has already been interest. “This is the transformational piece of the inland port,” she said.

The provincial government decision to give the go-ahead sets the stage for CentrePort’s future self-sufficiency. Negotiations with potential partners will include ongoing revenue for CentrePort Canada Inc. and a share in the profits of the operation of the rail park.

“What this does is confirm the government support for what is the key priority of our business that then sustains the vision of CentrePort going forward,” Gray stated. “The government has put all major economic projects under review. They were entitled to do so. If I was a new government, I would have done the same thing.”

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Changes to CentrePort board
CentrePort Canada Inc. has announced the appointment of David Filmon as chair, Mike Pyle as vice-chair, and Kevin Hooke as a director of the corporation’s board of directors.

Chris Lorenc, who has served as chair since April 1, 2016, will remain on the board as past-chair and nominee of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. Lorenc, President of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, has been a director since the board’s inception in 2008.

Another founding board member, Don Streuber, Manitoba Trucking Association’s nominee and past Chair of the board, has completed his term. Streuber is the Executive Chairman of Bison Transport, whose operations are located at CentrePort.

“On behalf of the board of directors and the staff of CentrePort Canada, I would like to thank Chris and Don for their exceptional leadership, hard work and commitment to building our inland port,” Filmon said. “As founding board members, they helped to define the private sector’s vision for a tri-modal inland port.”

Filmon is the City of Winnipeg’s nominee to the board since 2013, and has previously served as vice- chair and as a member of CentrePort’s Governance & Nominations committee. Filmon is Chair of MLT Aikins LLP, where he practices in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities law.

Pyle, nominated to the board by the Business Council of Manitoba in 2012, is the CEO of Exchange Income Corporation. He previously served as chair of CentrePort’s Finance & Audit committee and is actively involved in a number of business, community and charitable organizations.

CentrePort Canada Inc. also welcomes Kevin Hooke, an experienced investment banker to the corporation’s board of directors. As Head of Corporate Finance and a Director of Wellington West Capital Inc., he played a major role in advancing Winnipeg’s capital markets and funding the growth of many local success stories.

CentrePort Canada is a 20,000-acre inland port and Foreign Trade Zone. Located in the heart of North America, CentrePort connects to major national and international trade gateways and corridors, and is the only inland port in the country with direct access to tri-modal transportation – extensive truck, rail and air cargo operations. To date, 54 companies have either built or are building new operations at CentrePort, including Rosenau Transport, Imperial Seed and Fort Garry Fire Trucks.

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Over 200 attend ATD golf tourney
With 216 golfers, the MTA ATD Golf Tournament was a clear success! The Associated Trades Division sponsors this worthwhile and fun event every year as a way to raise funds for the MTA scholarship program. Annually, the MTA provides over $10,000 in scholarships to deserving young Manitobans in both academic and apprenticeship programs. Funds raised through the ATD Golf Tournament, as well as the VMC Golf Tournament in September, go directly towards funding these scholarships.

Thank you to the ATD Golf Tournament Organizing Committee for hosting such a wonderful event:
Jim Devlin (Bridgestone Canada Inc.), Robb Palmer (Constant C Technology Group), John Mauseth (Beaver Truck Centre), and Scott Kinsman (Maxim Truck & Trailer). Due to the success of the 2018
event, we are already accepting registrations for 2019, scheduled for June 5, again at Quarry Oaks. Contact the MTA to register early.

Once again, thank-you to our valued sponsors who make this event possible!

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Saluting new MTA members
The MTA welcomes new Carrier members Able Concrete and Building Products & Concrete Supply, along with Associate Trade Division members Baldwin Filters, Dayco Canada Corp., and Wakefield Canada Inc.

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