Demonstrate a strong commitment to the economic inclusion of Indigenous communities and the modernization of infrastructure in the North
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TORONTO, July 8, 2021 / CNW / – The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), Transport Canada (TC) and the Government of Quebec announced a partnership to provide an investment program to Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. and Tshiuetin LP (collectively, Tshiuetin) to modernize the first indigenous owned and operated railway in Canada.
CIB will invest $ 50 million in the form of a fully repayable long-term loan. The government of Quebec will invest $ 5 million, repayable over the next two years. Transport Canada, which has supported Tshiuetin since 2005, has renewed its commitment to the company for the next three years through its Remote Passenger Rail program, increasing its total annual grants by at least $ 12 million per year for operating and capital expenditure.
The modernization project will contribute to the economic growth of communities in the Northeastern Quebec and Western labrador railway corridor. The agreement will contribute to the sustainability of businesses and infrastructures of strategic importance to access the territory while preserving the environment.
The railway is a lifeline for communities along the corridor. Freight and passenger service is the only easily accessible link connecting three First Nations – the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, the Innu Nation of Matimekush-Lac John and the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach – Between Schefferville and Sept-Îles.
The partnership includes major improvements to the track structure, the upgrade of an existing worker accommodation camp and construction of a new one, as well as the construction of a new station.
The project also includes the acquisition of new fuel efficient locomotives and new passenger cars that will improve user comfort.
The new trains will also be equipped with communication technology which will eventually allow on-board Internet access. Passengers will be able to stay connected to their work and loved ones while traveling.
The new trains will be safer thanks to an improved control system. The internet connection will allow instructions to be transmitted directly to the operations center.
Communities along the corridor, including First Nations communities, will benefit from increased mobility. The improved service will boost jobs and economic growth. Modernized freight services will increase the capacity and efficiency of freight transport, creating new business opportunities.
The project will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions through shorter journey times and more fuel efficient trains. First Nations members will continue to benefit from rail access to their traditional hunting grounds.
A first for the CIB
This is the first investment under the IPC’s Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII). Through the ICII, launched in March, the CIB aims to invest $ 1 billion in infrastructure projects developed in partnership with and for the benefit of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
This project also represents CIB’s first investment in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Part of the Northern Action Plan
The government’s investment Quebec meets an objective of its North 2020-2023 Action Plan (PAN 20-23), which was launched in december 2020 and aims, among other things, to ensure multi-user access to the Labrador Trough. The government of Quebec will invest $ 778.6 million, or more than half of the amount planned for PAN 20-23, to support businesses and citizens established and active north of the 49th parallel. The Société du Plan Nord coordinates the implementation of this government plan.
CIB is proud of a partnership aimed at delivering economic and green benefits to the communities of the Northeastern Quebec and Western labrador corridor. Our investment is the first in a long series to be part of CIB’s Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative, which helps improve infrastructure in Indigenous communities. CIB is committed to working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to help provide inclusive and sustainable infrastructure that will benefit generations to come.
Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank
The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s partnership with the Government of Quebec and the community of Tshiuetin to support the Tshiuetin Railway Project is an excellent example of strong partnership with indigenous peoples and marks CIB’s first investment under the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative. This railway serves as a lifeline for communities along the corridor and funding to modernize the line will help residents travel safely and efficiently while enabling better transportation of essential goods, creating jobs, reducing costs. emissions and promoting local economic growth.
The Honorable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
There is a significant infrastructure gap facing Indigenous communities in Canada and this important funding is the perfect example of how the Canada Infrastructure Bank can work in partnership with Indigenous communities to provide them with safe infrastructure and improve their quality of life. The Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-utenam, the Innu nation of Matimekush-Lac John and the Naskapi nation of Kawawachikamach communities will be better connected by an improved, modern railroad while creating jobs when we need them most.
The Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services
Through our contribution to the renewed Remote Passenger Rail Program, the goal is to ensure continued passenger rail service to Indigenous and remote communities located in Northeastern Quebec and Western labrador. This passenger rail service is an important lifeline in accessing health care, education and employment opportunities for isolated Indigenous communities.
The Honorable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport
As stated in the Quebec The government’s 2020-2023 Action Plan for the North (NAP 20-23), we are committed to facilitating access to the Northern Territory. With the NAP 20-23, we make sure that the actions implemented meet the needs of the communities and tackle the issues specific to each region, such as the North Shore. Tshiuetin Rail Transportation is the only company that offers rail transportation between Schefferville and Sept-Iles. Its presence is crucial for local communities, including First Nations, and our support will help ensure its sustainability.
Jonatan julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region and the Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, government of Quebec
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation shows how the community takes ownership of its economic development. It is also a fine example of collaboration between the Innu and Naskapi communities of the North. To inhabit our North and bring it to life, as described in the Northern Action Plan, we will continue to support initiatives originating from the territory and its communities.
Ian Lafrenière, Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Government of Quebec
I am delighted to announce the advancement of several new projects to modernize our operations, which represent Tshiuetin Rail Transportation’s commitment to strengthening economic collaboration and fostering mutually beneficial relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. With funding and financial assistance from our partners announced today, we will increase our ability to fulfill our mission of providing safe, reliable and environmentally responsible services to our passengers and customers, while boosting our local economy through the creation of businesses and jobs. opportunities in the North.
Tanis peterson, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Tshiuetin Rail Transportation
For communities living in northern regions, the Tshiuetin railway line is at the heart of economic development. Not only does it allow the communities and businesses it serves to maintain a regular land link between them, conducive to the transport of people, goods and goods, but it also ensures and perpetuates a lasting presence of the Innu and Naskapi on the Nitassinan. By investing in indigenous infrastructure such as Tshiuetin Rail, all users of the territory will benefit from a modern, reliable and efficient transport system.
Chief Réal McKenzie, Innu Nation of Matimekush-Lac John
Chief Noah Swappie, Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach
Chief Mike McKenzie, Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam
- Since 2005, Tshiuetin has owned and operated a 217 kilometer regional railway and operates a 574 kilometer passenger rail service which, together, is the only easily accessible link connecting the three First Nations communities between Schefferville and Sept-Iles.
- The Canada Infrastructure Bank is investing $ 35 billion in new revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are in the public interest, increase economic growth and take action on climate change. The Canada Infrastructure Bank is building more infrastructure by partnering with private and institutional investors and governments through Canada.
- The objective of the CIB is to invest $ 1 billion in indigenous infrastructure projects in its five priority sectors, as outlined in its Statement of Priorities and Responsibilities.
- The government of of Quebec The Northern 2020-2023 Action Plan (PAN 20-23) responds to the priorities identified by Northern Quebec stakeholders. It aims to provide the appropriate tools to the communities concerned so that they can fully occupy their territory. This project is part of measure 1.1.2 Develop multi-user infrastructures thanks to collaborative funding under the First key orientation, Optimized access to the northern territory, of PAN 20-23.
- The Société du Plan Nord, which coordinates the implementation of PAN 20-23, is responsible for contributing to the integrated and coherent development of of Quebec northern territory, in accordance with the orientations defined by the government and in consultation with the representatives of the regions and native nations concerned, as well as the private sector.
SOURCE Canada Infrastructure Bank
For further information: Julie Desjardins, Canada Infrastructure Bank, [email protected], 514-963-3478; Marie-Ève Thérien, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region , [email protected], 418-643-7295