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Churchill Port Utilisation Program Contributes to a Successful First Transition Year

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/12/12 -- The first year of the Churchill Port Utilisation Program (CPUP) saw traffic shipments through the Manitoba facility remain strong, Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz announced today. The program was introduced last April as a transitional measure to maintain shipment levels of grain close to historical averages through the Port of Churchill, Canada's deep water Arctic port.

The 2012 shipping season saw some 432,434 tonnes move through Churchill compared with the 10-year historical average of just over 450,000. These totals not only include wheat and durum as was the case in 2011, but also include barley and canola.

"With the help of this transition funding, Churchill is well positioned to continue to diversify and maintain the historical average in the future," said Minister Ritz. "I share the optimism expressed by Manitobans as they explore new avenues for partnership, diversification and growth in this community that brings our farmers' products to the world."

In previous years, the CWB was the primary shipper using the Churchill port but this year the CPUP helped attract two new shippers - Richardson International and Nearco Transportation Consulting.

The CPUP supports shipments of a variety of grains through the Port of Churchill by providing an economic incentive of up to $25 million over five years. This was part of the changes in the Western Canadian grain sector that began with the coming into force of the new Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act last December and the official arrival of the open market on August 1, 2012.

The CPUP is part of a comprehensive package of government initiatives to support economic development in Churchill that also includes:


--  providing up to $4.1 million over three years through Transport Canada
    for Port maintenance; 
--  extending the project completion date from 2013 to 2015 for
    infrastructure improvements funded through Western Economic
    Diversification Canada; and 
--  exploring options for the development of the community of Churchill.

The shipping season in Churchill generally runs from late July to November.

Contacts:
Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059
jeffrey.english@agr.gc.ca

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