Racism accusations being investigated at Hudson Bay Railway

 By Dave Baxter

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It was announced Wednesday that allegations of racism are now being investigated at the Hudson Bay Railway (HBR)

the Arctic Gateway Group (AGG) which owns HBR, announced they have appointed former Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) Chief Christian Sinclair to conduct an “independent review into allegations of racism” at the railway, in a press release on Wednesday.

HBR operates more than 1,300 kilometres of track in northern Manitoba and in parts of northeastern Saskatchewan, and AGG said that approximately 70% of their 130 employees currently identify as Indigenous.

“I have made it clear to all our employees since day one that there is no place for racism in our workplace,” AGG CEO Sheldon Affleck said in a statement.

“We want to ensure a healthy and safe workplace as we rebuild the railway to serve the Indigenous and all the communities of northern Manitoba. Our employees are our most important asset, and we want to ensure a safe and respectful environment that is in line with our workplace policies.”

AGG said they have appointed Sinclair, who previously served on the board of directors of AGG, to look into the allegations of racism that AGG said were recently “raised in the media” and to make recommendations aimed at improving relations in the HBR workplace.

“I have every confidence that Sinclair will investigate these allegations thoroughly and provide an independent, impartial report that will also tell us where we can improve,” Affleck said.

In a statement Sinclair said he planned to “get to the bottom” of allegations of racism at the railway.

“I am pleased to accept this role and ensure that we get to the bottom of these allegations, so we can move forward to rebuild the HBR to serve our people for generations to come,” Sinclair said.

– Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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