Road to Ontario’s Ring of Fire region inches forward with environmental assessment
Two First Nations in Ontario’s remote north have selected a pair engineering firms to carry out an environmental assessment for an all-season road between the two communities.
The proposed “Northern Road Link” would connect the Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation, and is an integral component of the wider project to construct a road into the mining region known as the Ring of Fire.
“This road is an economic lifeline for our communities and it will bring jobs, training and prosperity where our youth currently have no opportunities,” said Bruce Achneepineskum, chief of the Marten Falls First Nation, in a release.
Achneepineskum added that both communities are committed to responsibly studying any road development within their traditional territories.
“The Environmental Assessment is essential to our community-decision making,” he said. Without understanding the potential environmental and other implications of a northern road, we won’t be able to make informed decisions about the future of our lands.”
Spurred by a new agreement struck last spring between the Ontario government and the two First Nations, SNC-Lavalin Inc. and Dillon Consulting have been selected to take on the detailed study of the route.
Any construction on the project remains years away. The Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations expect the environmental assessment to take no less than three years to complete.