Fairfax Financial Holdings interested in takeover of broken Churchill rail line

OTTAWA — The federal government says a Toronto-based holding company is interested in becoming a new partner in a possible deal for a takeover of the broken rail line that runs to Churchill in northern Manitoba.Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc. has expressed interest in the Hudson Bay Rail line, the Port of Churchill and other associated assets.Carr says Fairfax is considering partnering with Missinippi Rail and One North to acquire the line from Omnitrax.Fairfax Financial increases stake in Torstar with $11.8 million private stock dealFairfax Financial companies face nearly $1 billion in losses due to natural disastersSevere flooding damaged the rail line last spring, cutting the only land link to Churchill, a town of 900 on the west coast of Hudson Bay.The situation is hurting the region’s tourism industry and raising the price of food and fuel.Carr, the MP for Winnipeg South Centre, says having Fairfax involved is an important step toward a positive solution for the people of Churchill.“This development has the potential to contribute to an arrangement supported by First Nations and communities in northern Manitoba,” he said Thursday in a release.“This would enable a sustainable business approach that results in a safe and reliable rail line.”Fairfax president Paul Rivett said the company is optimistic about the north. He said the Churchill rail corridor and the Port of Churchill are important pieces of infrastructure for northern communities and Canada’s economy.“Partnering with First Nations and communities is the right model for this investment,” he said in a release.“We have deep experience in infrastructure projects and have the necessary operational expertise to run shortline railways in partnership with our investee company AGT Foods. The key is that the plan has to be viable and profitable in the long term as a business.”Carr’s comments come only days after Ottawa filed a lawsuit against Denver-based Omnitrax.The lawsuit alleges Omnitrax has failed to repair and maintain the rail line in violation of a 2008 agreement that saw the company receive $18.8 million in federal aid for maintenance and upgrades. The lawsuit seeks repayment of the money.Omnitrax has said it plans to file a complaint against the federal government under the North American Free Trade Agreement.The company has said the federal government’s decision to end the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on western grain in 2012 drastically cut grain shipments along the rail line and through the Port of Churchill. read more


Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange markets

TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (12,277.13 up 167.24 points):Eastern Platinum Ltd. (TSX:ELR). Miner. Down a penny, or 11.11 per cent, at eight cents on 9.75 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Plane and train maker. Up 11 cents, or 2.36 per cent, at $4.78 on 8.74 million shares.Lundin Mining Corp. (TSX:LUN). Miner. Up 35 cents, or 8.79 per cent, at $4.33 on 6.51 million shares. The Toronto-based company announced late Wednesday that it is buying an underground nickel-copper mine under construction in Michigan from a subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc for about US$325 million in cash.BlackBerry (TSX:BB). Wireless technology. Up 83 cents, or 5.98 per cent, at $14.70 on 4.97 million shares. Societe Generale upgraded BlackBerry’s stock rating to “buy” from a “sell,” on better-than-expected sales of the company’s new smartphones.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Insurer. Up 16 cents, or 1.01 per cent, at $15.96 on 4.74 million shares.Toronto Venture Exchange (930.06 up 1.87 points):Loyalist Group Ltd. (TSXV:LOY). Educational services. Unchanged at 75 cents on 2.66 million shares.Yangaroo Inc. (TSXV:YOO). Digital media. Down half a cent, or 20 per cent, at two cents on 2.19 million shares.Company reporting major news:Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX:DII.B). Junivile products and bicycle manufacturer. Down $3.37, or 8.69 per cent, at $35.40 on 92,254 shares. Dorel is shedding 50 jobs, about five per cent of the recreation and leisure segment’s global workforce of 975, to cut costs in the face of ongoing poor weather that has reduced bicycle sales.Transat A.T. (TSX:TRZ.B). Vacation travel. Up 73 cents, or 13.75 per cent, at $6.04 on 256,247 shares. Montreal-based Transat says it expects a strong second half and an adjusted profit in 2013 as a whole amid improving prices and margins on its European routes. The chartered airline and integrated vacation business reported an adjusted lost of $1.43 million or four cents per share in the second quarter, far better than the 26 cents per share loss estimated by analysts. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 13, 2013 5:33 pm MDT Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets read more