Climate change moving faster than Ontario government: Winter road plan needs timeline and goals, says logistics prof – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 28, 2017)

The rate of climate change in the Far North may render the winter road network unsafe and uneconomic within a decade, according to a logistics expert.

Barry Prentice, a University of Manitoba professor of Supply Chain Management, responded to recommendations in a draft report of the provincial government’s Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy (NOMTS) on the topic of the winter road network.

The draft strategy recommends that winter roads be designed and constructed in such a way as to mitigate the impact of climate change or consider other transportation alternatives. It also suggests expanding all-season roads in cooperation with government and First Nation communities.

Prentice replied the government needs to “develop a timeline with concrete goals” in any plan on the future of winter roads. “The tone of the NOMTS chapter on Remote and Far North Challenges could be described as ‘business as usual,’ with recommendations that have no targets for implementation; aspirational statements are insufficient,” wrote Prentice in a Nov. 28 news release.

If the melting polar caps are any indication, the rate of climate change is outpacing the government’s 20-year horizon to implement this plan, he added. The Northern Policy Institute recruited Prentice to write a commentary as part of a series of articles on the regional transportation strategy.

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