Thunder Bay: Project to build permanent road to northern Ontario First Nation ‘the right move’ chief says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 18, 2019)

The chief of a northern Ontario First Nation says an ongoing project to build an all-season road to the community will help in many ways.

Marten Falls, which is about 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is in the midst of the provincial environmental assessment process to construct a thoroughfare that will link the remote First Nation to the provincial highway system north of Nakina.

“There’s a lot of socio-economic benefits that would derive from having an all-weather road to the community,” said Chief Bruce Achneepineskum, adding that those would include lowering the cost of freight, making it easier for community members to travel and better positioning the First Nation to take advantage of various economic development opportunities in the forestry, mining and tourism sectors.

Achneepineskum said it will also make it easier for community members who live away from the First Nation to return, should they wish. “It would really help them coming back into the community and establishing a home here and living here in the community, rather than … trying to find a home in urban centres.”

Currently, Marten Falls is only accessible by air or, in the winter months, Ontario’s ice road network. The community has been working toward an all-season road for about 15 years, Achneepineskum said.

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