Special Programs

CRED Subsidy Projects - Intake Now Closed

 Background: The CRED Fund Management Committee (CMC) developed a response to the additional strains being felt by local business following the late May 2017 closure of the Hudson Bay rail line due to localized flooding.  Businesses saw a variety of incremental costs and challenges due to the loss of rail service, including:

  • Higher cost of shipping in product by air or sea lift
  • Higher input costs as suppliers had to pass on their increased shipping costs
  • Tying up cash flow or incurring increased debt to purchase inventory in much greater quantities (up to a year’s worth of stock in some cases) to match available sea lift space

Impacts were felt in the community in several ways:

  • Input cost increases were partially passed on to the consumer, with signs indicating price increases of 20% over “menu prices” commonplace in local retail and service businesses.
  • Those businesses unable to pass their full expenditure increases on to their customers were forced to reduce employee numbers, hours and/or wages; further contributing to the community’s high unemployment rate since the closure of the Port.

The CRED fund has the ability to undertake a broad range of community adjustment activities. This support was intended as a short-term response to the rail line shut down only and was not continued beyond the re-opening of the rail line. For further details, please download the full document. 

Below is a list of the projects that have been funded through this subsidy program. 

09: Churchill Home Hardware - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

In May 2017, overland flooding occurred in the Churchill River Basin and damaged the rail line. Churchill residents and businesses depended on the rail line as a means of transportation for families, tourists and freight. Churchill Home Hardware was one of the businesses that relied on the railway to deliver stock to the store once a week. Churchill Home Hardware now must find other means of shipping which only includes airlines and sea lift barges; both of which cost significantly more to have the freight delivered to Churchill. As airlines do not deliver any items over 10,000 pounds and also will not deliver dangerous goods, a significant portion of their inventory had to be brought in on one of the three available sea lifts prior to freeze up, requiring Churchill Home Hardware to purchase nearly an entire year’s inventory at once, creating incremental financing charges. Churchill Home Hardware supplies many crucial products including building supplies, plumbing and electrical materials tools, pet food and accessories, and more to the Town of Churchill and other surrounding northern communities. This project assisted with the additional freight and brokerage costs and financing charges associated with supplying these products.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

10: Gypsy’s Bakery Ltd. - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

Note: Following the completion of this project, Gypsy's Bakery experienced a fire that burned down their bakery. Click here for more information.

Gypsy’s Bakery is a full-service restaurant, bakery and coffee shop that has been operating in Churchill for approximately 30 years now. It has had and continues to have a positive economic and social impact on the Town. Gypsy’s employs local individuals, is the only bakery that supplies bread in Churchill and further north, and is one of the only restaurants in Churchill that stays open past the tourist season. Since the closure of the rail line, Gypsy’s was having to pay over $10,000 a month for air freight. This was exceedingly higher than what was being paid to transport their food and baking supplies prior to the closure of the rail line. This project helped cover their additional shipping costs since the closure of the rail line.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

14: Great White Bear Tours - Freight Subsidy ($21,916)

Great White Bear Tours is a locally-owned and operated tour company that has been doing business in Churchill, Manitoba for over 25 years. They run northern lights tours in winter, wildlife tours in summer and bear watching tours in fall. In the past, Great White Bear Tours has relied on the rail line in Churchill to transport all equipment, parts for tour vehicles, inventory, food, and tourists. The company contributes significantly to the Town’s tourism industry. Following the closure of the rail line, Great White Bear Tours incurred substantially higher costs to transport goods to Churchill. This project helped Great White Bear Tours ensure tour vehicles remain operational through northern lights season, covered the increased costs of shipping, and maintained employees.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

15: Churchill Northern Studies Centre - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) helps to support local tourism, research, and educational opportunities in Churchill, Manitoba. In doing so, the CNSC offers accommodation and food services, including room for 84 onsite guests as well as a full-service cafeteria that offers three hot meals per day. As a not-for-profit organization, the CNSC sets fee-for-service rates annually, and was not able to adjust 2017-2018 fees to cover the increased costs associated with the unexpected loss of rail service. This project allowed the CNSC to continue business operations, and supported their ability to retain a workforce and provide services to those travelling to Churchill.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

17: Seaport Hotel - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

The Seaport Hotel has been doing business in Churchill, MB for 15 years, under the current ownership. They are the only all amenity hotel in Churchill, with a hotel, restaurant and licensed beverage room. The Seaport Hotel relies on the rail line to Churchill to transport employees, equipment, parts for tour vehicles, inventory, food and tourists. After the rail line closure, they experienced inflated freight costs due to having to use air and sea to get products to Churchill. The only way to ship goods to Churchill during the rail line closure was via Calm Air or during the summer months by barge. This project helped the Seaport Hotel cover the increased business expenses which in turn allowed them to reduce costs for residents and visitors, retain the current number of employees and avoid layoffs, and reduce their overall operating costs and their bottom line. 

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

18: Exchange Petroleum - Fuel Subsidy Round 1 ($132,870)

With Churchill facing a shortage of fuel for the 2018 winter season, Exchange Petroleum stepped in and declared they would purchase the much-needed fuel so that the community would not run out and be in a state of emergency mid-way through the winter. The fuel was put into Exchange Petroleum’s railcars which previously held Jet A1 fuel. The Churchill Marine Tank Farm ran out of their existing store of fuel in mid-February 2018; necessitating the switch to Exchange Petroleum’s fuel. The CMTF gasoline was being sold in the community at a record high of $2.20/litre. With this subsidy, Exchange Petroleum was able to offer their gasoline at the pre-sea lift price of $1.70/litre while undertaking the transaction at a breakeven level.

Many businesses in the community benefited from this project; some businesses had increased their rates to cover the extra costs of fuel while others that were committed to contracts were losing much of their profit margins. A prime example of this was companies running northern lights tours. The tour packages had been bought well over a year before with the price point on fuel being added in at less than $1.70/litre for bulk fuel. This later increased to $1.95/litre and with the vehicles running for hours on end so that tourists could enjoy the Northern Lights comfortably during -30-degree temperatures, the companies were losing a substantial portion of their profits. A reasonable gasoline price helped to relieve some of the economic burden from the increased pricing that was in place.

STATUS: APPROVED, IN PROGRESS

19: Frontiers North - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

Frontiers North Adventure is a tour company that operates in Churchill, Manitoba. Their tours run from July to September, October to November and February to March. Their operations support the remote, local economy of Churchill as well as have a strong impact on Canada’s tourism industry. This project assisted in covering increased shipping costs related to tourism purchases such as tundra buggies, dining cars, etc. that were shipped via barge and would have otherwise been shipped via the rail line. 

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

20: Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation - Freight Subsidy ($10,215)

The Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation Inc. (CEDFI) is a non-profit organization established in the late 1970’s. Falling under the umbrella of the Arctic Trading Company, CEDFI’s primary mission is to save the Canadian Eskimo Dog species, one of five indigenous breeds native to Canada. The Foundation is financially supported by film makers, artists, photographers, writers and tour groups that visit the area to observe the dogs and the polar bears that interact with them. Tour companies often request presentations to educate people about the breed. Enticed by the unique interaction between the dogs and the polar bears, both groups and individuals pay to have exclusive access to the area. The films and photographs taken in this area have been used extensively to promote the Churchill area along with the polar bear experience.

The closure of the rail line to Churchill drastically increased the price of the dog food that was required to support the dog colony and hence the tourism related activities. This food was most essential in the winter months when meat is required to support their health as an outdoor breed, living in their traditional lifestyle. This project assisted in paying for the extra cost of dog food purchased locally as well as the increased freight rates to bring additional dog food to Churchill.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

21: Tundra Inn - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

The Tundra Inn operates a hotel, hostel, Restaurant and Pub in Churchill, Manitoba. The Tundra Inn’s Restaurant and Pub is a seasonal restaurant open June until late November and has been operating for over ten years in the community. The hotel is open year-round and has been operating for over 35 years. The Tundra House hostel is Churchill’s first and only hostel. The loss of the rail line resulted in a large increase in freight costs for many of Tundra Inn’s business expenses including food and other supplies. There was also a significant loss in revenue due to the decrease in tourists being able to get to Churchill, with a 33 percent loss of accommodation in the hotel and 80 percent in the hostel. This project assisted in covering the increase in freight costs for the 2017-2018 season. 

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

22: Town of Churchill - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

The rail line, Churchill’s only overland link to southern Manitoba, was damaged by flooding in May of 2017. The Town of Churchill relies on the rail line as a means of transportation for people as well as for freight. During the rail line's closure, the Town was required to use other costlier methods of shipping supplies including air freight and sea lift. It is cost prohibitive to ship dangerous goods by air and in some cases dangerous goods cannot be shipped by air. In light of these restrictions, a significant number of chemical products were needed to be brought in by sea lift prior to freeze up. These chemical products are required to maintain the integrity of The Town’s water supply. In addition, equipment repair costs significantly increased due to the increased freight costs. This project assisted in ensuring the Town did not have to cut services or pass additional costs onto the taxpayers. The residents of the Town of Churchill already face an increased cost of living and cannot afford additional financial or social burdens.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

25: Churchill Legion - Freight Subsidy ($1,487.28)

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 227 (Churchill Legion) is a registered legion and non-profit organization. The Legion's clubroom brings in customers for bingo and other activities. During these activities, the legion sells beverages and snacks. They use their profits to support other local organizations such as school programs, junior rangers, Churchill's food bank and more. They also donate their space to a number of organizations in the Town. The closure of the rail line to Churchill drastically increased the freight costs on food and drinks. This project assisted in covering extra freight costs associated with food and drinks, which in turn helped to prevent staff from being laid off.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

26: Churchill River Mushing - Freight Subsidy ($4,154.99)

Churchill River Mushing has been operating tours in the Churchill area for 11 years. Tourists are able to go for rides of various lengths. They also have the opportunity to learn about dogs and what's involved in caring for and training them. Churchill River Mushing employs 4-6 people seasonally. When the train was no longer operating, the cost of shipping dog food and other supplies had increased by quite a bit. This project helped cover additional freight costs related to dog food and other supplies. This also helped Churchill River Mushing continue to employ seasonal staff, and maintain a proper standard of care for the sled dogs. 

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

34: Nature First Tours - Freight Subsidy ($1,014)

Nature First Tours is a small company that provides tours, transportation and polar bear security for anyone working on the ground in Churchill, Manitoba. They have a fleet of buses and vehicles used to operate their business. Every year they ship supplies for the season in their truck using Via Rail. When the rail line was closed, supplies had to be shipped via Canada Post which was costlier. This project allowed Nature First to maintain their fleet, continue operations and prevent unnecessary layoffs.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

35: T&T Services - Fuel Subsidy Round 2 ($86,000)

Gasoline in Churchill has traditionally been purchased by the Churchill Marine Tank Farm (CMTF), previously a subsidiary of Omnitrax and now of Arctic Gateway, and then re-sold on a retail basis through T & T Services (operating as Churchill Gas Station) or on a wholesale basis directly from the CMTF to several large tourism operators or to residents with their own storage tanks. The Round 1 subsidy in mid-February 2018 covered 309,000 litres of gasoline purchased by Exchange Petroleum, and allowed for the price at the pump to remain comparable to pre-railway washout prices (reduced from $2.20/L to $1.70/L). 

The gasoline purchased by Exchange was exhausted July 18th, 2018 and replaced by a new shipment of approximately 300,000 L brought in by sea by the CMTF.  Without a subsidy, the Churchill Gas Station’s pump price would have been $2.54/L due to the high shipping costs. CRED renewed its subsidy of $0.43/L on the portion of the shipment (200,000 litres) expected to be sold through T & T.

T & T Services were approved for $86,000, which equated to a subsidy of $0.43/L on their expected purchases of 200,000 L of fuel.  This subsidy allowed the pump price to be reduced to $2.11/L.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

36: T&T Services - Freight Subsidy ($2,646.79)

T&T Services is a year-round gas station and vehicle maintenance shop. They have been doing business in Churchill, MB for five years, and in that time have relied on the rail line to transport equipment, fuel, parts for local vehicles and concession items for the gas station. In addition to servicing vehicles, they provide maintenance and repair services to snowmobiles, ATVs, motor bikes, chain saws, ice augers and other items that go out on the land. Unfortunately, the company has had lay off staff and cut down on hours due to increased costs and loss of revenues. This project covered a portion of additional freight costs, allowing T&T Services to maintain their business and keep from reducing hours and staff any further.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

37: Churchill Health Centre - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

The closure of the rail line to Churchill increased the freight costs many items for the Churchill Health Centre including all medical material and equipment, cleaning and laundry supplies, food, facility maintenance, facility equipment maintenance, vehicle maintenance, hospital supplies and office supplies. Prior to the rail line shutting down, the Churchill Health Centre shipped all supplies through Gardewine. While the rail line was closed, they had to ship all supplies via Calm Air. This project helped the Churchill Health Centre pay for these extra freight costs. The funding assistance also helped them continue to provide excellent patient care, supporting both employees and the greater community.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED 

38: Wapusk Adventures - Freight Subsidy ($7,505)

The closure of the rail line to Churchill substantially increased the freight costs on dog food for Wapusk Adventures. They requested assistance from the CRED Fund to help pay for a portion of these extra freight costs. The Fund's assistance allowed them to maintain their business without compromising the dog's health and well-being. 

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

39: Aurora Inn - Freight Subsidy ($8,838)

The closure of the rail line to Churchill made freight costs for all supplies significantly higher than normal. During the 2017-2018 season, prior to the rail line closure, Aurora Inn realized they needed to replace their roof as it had been poorly installed and was badly leaking. Unfortunately, this was not an issue covered by insurance.

This project involved replacing the metal roof with shingles, employing four local workers. The CRED Fund provided assistance in paying for the extra freight costs associated with shipping shingles to Churchill via Calm Air. The Fund's assistance has allowed the Aurora Inn to maintain their business and continue operating without raising room rates by too much. 

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

40: Churchill Home Hardware - Freight Subsidy II ($25,000)

Churchill Home Hardware entered into a second year without railway operations. The store has historically relied on the railway to deliver stock once a week. Without this option, Churchill Home Hardware had to find other means of shipping over the last year, which was limited to: airlines, barges and a seasonal ice road with limited capacity. Unfortunately airlines do not deliver any item of 10,000 pounds and will not deliver dangerous goods. The uncertainty around the rail line's operation required Churchill Home Hardware to purchase their inventory in larger volumes, which had an effect on cash flow and available inventory at any given time. This program assisted with the additional freight, brokerage costs and financing charges associated with supplying these products. 

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

45: Churchill Northern Studies Centre - Freight Subsidy II ($16,531)

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) helps to support local tourism, research, and educational opportunities in Churchill, Manitoba. In doing so, the CNSC offers accommodation and food services, including room for 84 onsite guests as well as a full-service cafeteria that offers three hot meals per day. As a not-for-profit organization, the CNSC sets fee-for-service rates annually and has struggled to adjust fees that fully reflect the increased costs associated with the unexpected loss of rail service.

This project assisted the CNSC in a second year of additional freight costs due to the closure of the railway, and allowed them to continue business operations, supporting their ability to retain a workforce and provide services to those travelling to Churchill.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED 

46: Churchill Northern Studies Centre - Fuel Subsidy ($3,317.93)

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) helps to support local tourism, research, and educational opportunities in Churchill, Manitoba. In doing so, the CNSC offers accommodation and food services, including room for 84 onsite guests as well as a full-service cafeteria that offers three hot meals per day. As a not-for-profit organization, the CNSC sets fee-for-service rates annually and is struggling to adjust fees that fully reflect the increased costs associated with the unexpected loss of rail service.

This project will assist the CNSC in their additional fuel costs due to the closure of the railway, allowing them to continue business operations, supporting their ability to retain a workforce and provide services to those travelling to Churchill.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

47: Arctic Gateway Group - Fuel Subsidy Round 3 ($81,880)

CRED provided two previous rounds of subsidies of $0.43/L to help offset the increased cost of gasoline in Churchill, which had to be brought in by sea lift following the loss of the rail line in May 2017. While the rail line began hauling freight once again in late 2018, the remaining 190,418 L of gasoline in the tanks at the Churchill Marine Tank Farm was brought in by sea lift and remained costly. This supply was forecast to last into the Spring of 2019, but would be sold at a pump price of $2.61/L without a subsidy.  A $0.43/L subsidy was approved to provide a reasonable gasoline price; benefiting both residents and businesses in the community.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

52: Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation - Freight Subsidy II ($6,143.10)

In May 2017, the rail line to Churchill flooded and became inoperable. Following the rail line closure, the costs associated with shipping dog food to Churchill increased drastically as the only option for shipping the food was via Calm Air. This food was critical for supporting the CEDFI’s dog colony, and consequently, their associated tourism activities.

The CEDFI received an initial freight subsidy through the CRED Fund during the 2017 – 2018 shipping season. They then required continued assistance to help cover their incremental shipping costs following the end of the previous subsidy.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

53: Wapusk Adventures - Fuel Subsidy ($2,012.78)

Wapusk Adventures is a small, year-round tour company that provides dog sledding, bird watching and aurora viewing tours in Churchill, Manitoba. Being a tourism business, there are fuel costs associated with transporting tourists to various sites. Due to the unexpected loss of rail service, Wapusk Adventures experienced a significant increase in their fuel costs this past year.

Wapusk Adventures required assistance to help cover their additional fuel costs that skyrocketed during the closure of the rail line. Ideally situated along the Hudson Bay, Churchill’s economy relies primarily on tourism and it is critical that this industry continues to flourish. This project allowed Wapusk Adventures to continue business operations, supporting their ability to retain a workforce and provide services to those travelling to Churchill.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

55: Town of Churchill - Freight Subsidy II ($25,000)

The Town of Churchill requested assistance to cover their additional shipping costs following the closure of the rail line. The Town received an initial freight subsidy through the CRED Fund during the 2017 – 2018 shipping season. Continued assistance was required to help cover their incremental shipping costs following the end of the previous subsidy. This assistance decreaseed the risk of the Town having to cut services or pass the additional costs onto the taxpayers. The residents of the Town of Churchill have already faced a dramatic increase in the cost of living and cannot afford these additional financial or social burdens.  

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

56: Great White Bear Tours - Freight Subsidy II ($7,703.99)

Great White Bear Tours required assistance to cover their additional shipping costs since the closure of the rail line. Great White Bear Tours received an initial freight subsidy through the CRED Fund during the 2017 – 2018 shipping season. Continued assistance helped to cover their incremental shipping costs following the end of the previous subsidy and in turn, provided support for the tourism industry that Churchill relies on.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

57: Tamarack Interiors - Fuel Subsidy ($580.88)

Tamarack Interiors, historically a flooring company, is now a small grocery and clothing store located in Churchill, MB. Tamarack Interiors owns a gas tank that services three Churchill businesses by the same owner – Watchee Expeditions, Seaport Hotel and Tamarack Interiors.

Tamarack Interiors required assistance to help cover their additional fuel costs skyrocketed following the closure of the rail line in May 2017. As a result of the rail closure, both Tamarack Interiors and the Seaport Hotel were picking up their groceries from the airport to avoid the cost of Gardewine’s delivery service into Town. This project assisted Tamarack Interiors with their higher fuel costs during this time, supporting their ability to retain a workforce and provide uninterrupted service to both residents and tourists.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

65: Seaport Hotel - Freight Subsidy II ($25,000)

In May 2017, the rail line to Churchill flooded and became inoperable. The Seaport Hotel relies on the rail line to Churchill to transport employees, equipment, parts for tour vehicles, inventory, food and tourists. As the rail line was closed due to flooding for over a year, they experienced inflated freight costs due to having to use air and sea to get products to Churchill. 

The Seaport Hotel received an initial freight subsidy through the CRED Fund during the 2017 – 2018 shipping season. They then required continued assistance to help cover their incremental shipping costs following the end of the previous subsidy.

STATUS: APPROVED, COMPLETED

69: Churchill Hotel - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

In May 2017, the rail line to Churchill flooded and became inoperable. The Churchill Hotel relies on the rail line to Churchill to transport equipment, parts for tour vehicles, and other inventory. As the rail line was closed due to flooding for over a year, they experienced inflated freight costs due to having to use air and sea to get products to Churchill. 

This project will help cover additional freight costs for the 2017-2018 season. This subsidy helped the Churchill Hotel continue to employ seasonal staff, while ensuring that excessive costs were not passed on to tourists and visitors. 

STATUS: APPROVED, WAITING ON FURTHER INFORMATION 

70: Bear Country Inn - Freight Subsidy ($25,000)

In May 2017, the rail line to Churchill flooded and became inoperable. The Bear Country lnn relies on the rail line to Churchill to transport equipment, inventory and food. As the rail line was closed due to flooding for over a year, they experienced inflated freight costs due to having to use air and sea to get products to Churchill. 

This project will help cover additional freight costs for the 2017-2018 season. This subsidy helped the the Bear Country Inn continue to employ seasonal staff, while ensuring that excessive costs were not passed on to tourists and visitors. 

STATUS: APPROVED, WAITING ON FURTHER INFORMATION 

71: Bear Country Inn - Freight Subsidy II ($25,000)

In May 2017, the rail line to Churchill flooded and became inoperable. The Bear Country lnn relies on the rail line to Churchill to transport equipment, inventory and food. As the rail line was closed due to flooding for over a year, they experienced inflated freight costs due to having to use air and sea to get products to Churchill. 

The Bear Country Inn received an initial freight subsidy through the CRED Fund during the 2017 – 2018 shipping season. They then required continued assistance to help cover their incremental shipping costs following the end of the previous subsidy.

STATUS: APPROVED, WAITING ON FURTHER INFORMATION