Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says he is willing to put up provincial money to help the northern port town of Churchill.

But Pallister is offering few details of his plan, and says some of the $500 million over 10 years would be to continue existing programs.

Chruchill Mayor, Mike Spence, says he was not briefed on the plan, and hasn't spoken to the premier since July. "This is all new to us, this whole announcement came out of nowhere." Spence said Friday afternoon.  

Churchill's Mayor added that he is encouraged that the province is recognizing the strategic role Churchill plays in the province.

Churchill lost its only land link to the outside world this spring when flooding caused severe damage to the rail line that was used to transport goods and people.

Since then, prices have jumped sharply for food and other items that must now be flown in.

The rail line is owned by Denver-based Omnitrax, which has said it cannot afford the $20 million to $60 million in repair costs.

Pallister says the province won't fund repairs because rail service is a federal responsibility, but the province is willing to spend money on economic development, social services and other infrastructure work.