CHURCHILL, Manitoba — The town of Churchill in northern Manitoba is saying thank you to everyone who has helped the community since it lost its rail service.
Mayor Michael Spence and his council say in a release on Twitter that many Manitobans, Canadians and people from across the world have reached out.
The town of 900 people on Hudson Bay lost its only land connection to the south last spring when severe flooding damaged the rail line.
Railway owner Omnitrax has said it will not repair the track because it would cost too much money on an already money-losing line.
That means goods and people have had to rely on very costly air transportation, although a seasonal ice road recently opened.
The town’s thank you says the outpouring of support has made this Christmas a special one for the community.
“We are particularly touched by the many anonymous donors who have made a donation to our food bank, donated a toy for a Christmas hamper, sent a letter of encouragement, or simply supported us through this most difficult time,” says the release.
“This has truly been the most challenging time our community has faced and we have all come together with the assistance and efforts of many people that care for our community and that recognize the special place that Churchill is.”
The town is also reminding everyone that it is not the only northern community affected by the loss of the rail line.
It mentions the Kivalliq region in Nunavut, many First Nations — including the Fox Lake Cree, Pikwitonei and York Factory bands — and the communities of Thompson and The Pas.
The federal government has filed a lawsuit against Omnitrax and is trying to help transfer ownership of the rail line to a consortium of northern Manitoba communities.