Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 92: Business and Reconciliation (92)

Millbrook First Nation, logistics firm partnering to build shipping terminal in central N.S.

December 4, 2023

Facility will be located near Truro, with construction due to begin next year

An artistic rendering of what the inland terminal will look like.
Millbrook First Nation has entered a partnership with a transportation logistics company, Canadian Rail Equipment Works and Services, to develop an inland shipping terminal near Truro in central Nova Scotia. (Eastpoint)

CBC Indigenous: Millbrook First Nation has entered into a partnership with a transportation logistics company called Canadian Rail Equipment Works and Services to develop an inland shipping terminal near Truro in central Nova Scotia.

The facility is meant to improve the flow of cargo through the Port of Halifax and reduce congestion on downtown streets caused by heavy trucks.

“If we can move more cargo by rail out to somewhere as far as Truro, being that a lot of the trucks are going up through Cape Breton or across to P.E.I. and places like that, if we can move more out by rail then we reduce the number of trucks that come into the downtown core,” Campt.Allan Gray, president and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority, said Monday.

“That’s a big win. It’s, from a green point of view, it’s more energy efficient, reduces emissions and from a congestion point of view we reduce the number of trucks,” he said.

The terminal, named We’kopekitk, will be built on land near Onslow that offers easy access to both the main rail line through Nova Scotia and the Trans-Canada Highway. The facility will have railway sidings stretching for more than three kilometres, equipped with cranes and warehouses to speed the sorting and transferring of containers.

Chief Bob Gloade of Millbrook said the name We’kopekitk in Mi’kmaq means “end of the water’s flow,” and it was chosen because Cobequid Bay branches into the Shubenacadie and Salmon rivers.

A woman with long brown hair wearing a black shirt stands in front of a screen.
Claire Marshall is the executive director of Millbrook First Nation. (CBC)

While the inland terminal is expected to improve conditions in the port, it will also bring benefits to people living around the facility.

“All of the revenues that will be realized through these partnerships, both Scotia Port and the We’kopekitk rail terminal, will go into contributing to Millbrook’s infrastructure, its housing and its social services,” said Millbrook executive director Claire Marshall.

The terminal is expected to create about 300 jobs. Marshall said the hope is that people in the immediate area, not just residents of Millbrook, will be able to get the training to compete for those jobs.

Construction on the facility is scheduled to begin next year.


Blair Rhodes, Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 40 years, the last 31 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at