NAN deputy grand chief says private road to Ring of Fire ‘totally wrong’ – by Shawn Bell (Wawatay News – November 26, 2012)

Northern Ontario’s First Nations Voice:

Nishnawbe Aski Nation deputy grand chief says that First Nations will not allow Ontario and the companies involved in the Ring of Fire to build a private road to the development without connecting communities of the region.

Les Louttit called Ontario’s plan to subsidize a private road from Nakina to the Ring of Fire that would provide industry a way to get ore from the mines to market, but not connect to First Nations along the route, ‘totally wrong’.

“That cannot be allowed to happen and we will make sure as a political organization that we pressure the government and industry that any transportation corridor that is going to go into the Ring of Fire development will have to have open access to the communities,” Louttit told Wawatay News.

“It will be going close by Aroland, Eabametoong, Neskantaga, Marten Falls and Webequie,” he added. “It doesn’t make economic sense, it doesn’t make moral sense and it’s just not going to happen that way.”

A spokesperson with Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines previously confirmed that the government plans to help build and operate and pay-for-use road to the Ring of Fire.

Andrew Morrison told Wawatay on Sept. 13 that the province is committed to “sharing the cost” of building an all season, 350 km road.

Morrison said the road would be solely for industrial users, for “developers to go in and get ore and minerals back out.”

The proposed plan outlined by does not connect to any First Nation communities, and residents of the region would not have access to the road.