Laying the tracks for future prosperity in the North – by Betsy Kennedy (National Post – July 8, 2020)

The Bayline railroad has been a part of our Cree family for decades. My grandfather, Adam Dyck, who grew up in Split Lake, Man. (now known as the Tatskweyak Cree Nation) worked the Bayline, the affectionate name for the Hudson Bay Railway, which runs for 1,300 kilometres through northeastern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba.

My father, uncle and son worked for the railway and I have another uncle who was born on the train. His name? Bayline Dyck. Not to be outdone by my uncle, I was born at a railroad work camp south of Churchill, Man.

We are like many First Nations families who have been tied to the railroad for generations and that is why we cannot stand idly by and watch it die. For us, and for non-Indigenous communities of northern Manitoba, it is a lifeline.

The railway connects us to the rest of Canada and to the world. It brings critical supplies to our communities, including food, medicine and building materials.

A cost-benefit analysis conducted by Barry Prentice, a professor of supply chain management at the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business, found that it is up to three times more expensive to bring in supplies by air, compared to rail.

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