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Wilderness Committee organizes meetings to discuss Omnitrax oil plans

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The first in a series of town hall meetings to discuss Omnitrax’s plans to begin shipping crude oil through the northern Manitoba Port of Churchill is scheduled for tomorrow night in Winnipeg.

The two-hour session, to be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the University of Winnipeg’s Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, is the first of three meetings being organized by The Wilderness Committee. The others are to be held Oct. 15 in Thompson and Oct. 18 in Churchill.

The Wilderness Committee has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Omnitrax plan to ship oil by rail from Alberta and the north-central United States to Churchill, where it will be loaded onto tanker ships bound for oil refineries in Europe and on the east coast of North America.

The committee fears a train derailment and oil spill could have a devastating impact on the North’s fragile wilderness and wildlife, and on Churchill’s vital tourism industry.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be co-hosted by the University of Winnipeg Students Association, Ecopia, and the Geography and Environmental Students Association. Guest speakers will include Douglas Clark, an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan School of Environment and Sustainability and chief warden of Wapusk National Park, and Eric Reder, the Wilderness Committee’s campaign director for Manitoba.

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