Omnitrax files trade complaint against Ottawa (2 Visits)

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Omnitrax has filed a NAFTA claim against Ottawa, threatening a $150M lawsuit, claiming that federal policies sabotaged the trail line to Churchill and its port.

It filed a claim Tuesday under NAFTA, saying it will sue the government for $150M if there isn't a settlement that sees the railway repaired and transferred alongside the port for a negotiated amount. Transport Canada gave Omnitrax a month to repair the line or else they would face an $18.8M lawsuit to take back funds Ottawa provided in an agreement in 2008 to improve the line.

Ottawa transferred the Port of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Railway to the Denver-based railway company in 1997, but since then the government stopped the Wheat Board monopoly in 2012, which had used Churchill to export grain. Companies now use ports in Vancouver and Thunder Bay to ship Prairie grain.

Omnitrax alleges a "continuum of behaviour" by the feds and province, who "lured Omnitrax into believing their commitment" ahead of conduct that "persistently undermined, instead of developing, the potential of assets."

Read the article here.