AUDIO: Ontario pledges ‘support’ for year-round road access to 3 remote First Nations (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 21, 2017)

Province says it’s working with Webequie, Nibinamik and Marten Falls on year-round road projects

The provincial government says it’s working with three remote northwestern Ontario First Nations to develop year-round road access that will link the communities to Ontario’s highway system. The partnership between the province, Webequie, Nibinamik and Marten Falls will also facilitate access to the Ring of Fire — a mineral-rich area in the James Bay lowlands, about 575 kilometres north of Thunder Bay — according to the province.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement Monday morning in Thunder Bay, Ont., during her first scheduled stop on a day-long tour of the city. The premier was flanked by three of her ministers — Indigenous Relations Minister David Zimmer, Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle and Bill Mauro, Ontario’s minister of municipal affairs.

“I’m very pleased to announce today that we have reached an agreement to build a road into the Ring of Fire,” Wynne said. “I’ve looked forward to this particular day coming for some time.”

A written release issued in conjunction with the premier’s announcement stated that Ontario will “support” ongoing work to plan and construct an east-west road connecting Webequie and Nibinamik to existing highways near Pickle Lake, located about 550 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

Additionally, the province is pledging support to Marten Falls to plan and build a road to the community that would link to the highway at Nakina and Aroland First Nation, communities about 275 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Further planning work on a road from Marten Falls north to the Ring of Fire is also being pursued, the province said.

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