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Ex-Cargill chief to chair Man. inland port

The retired chief of the Canadian arm of agrifood giant Cargill will chair the board of directors for Manitoba’s inland port initiative.

Kerry Hawkins was announced Monday as the chairman of CentrePort Canada, a 20,000-acre project devoted to export-oriented economic development in the neighbourhood of Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

Hawkins had worked for Cargill since 1964 and was succeeded in 2006 by Len Penner as president of Cargill Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary headquartered in Winnipeg.

Since then, Hawkins has joined several corporate boards including those of Nova Chemicals, TransCanada Pipelines, National Leasing, Manitoba Blue Cross and the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

Art Mauro, chair of the Winnipeg Airport Authority, will be vice-chair of the inland port board.

Other members include Maureen Prendiville of Manitoba resource firm Prendiville Industries, David Fung of Vancouver’s ACDEG Group, Chris Lorenc of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, Winnipeg lawyer Gord Peters, Joan Hardy of Richardson International, Don Streuber of Bison Transport, Western Glove Works president and Winnipeg Free Press co-owner Bob Silver, Tom Payne of Payne Transportation, Winnipeg Airport Authority CEO Barry Rempel, United Food and Commercial Workers union president Robert Ziegler, former provincial cabinet minister Eugene Kostyra and Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz’s former chief of staff, Ryan Craig.

The CentrePort initiative involves setting up a “transportation, trade, manufacturing, distribution, warehousing and logistics centre,” and a focal point for truck, bus, rail and air traffic. Projects such as upgrades to the Hudson Bay Railway and to Highway 75 between Winnipeg and the U.S. border have also been planned with the inland port concept in mind.

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