Thunder Bay: Northern Road Link to Ring of Fire getting ready for environmental assessment, but not everyone is on board – by Logan Turner (CBC News Thunder Bay – December 14, 2020)

Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations signed agreement with Ontario on Oct. 28 to move project forward

A third all-season road connecting the Ring of Fire to the provincial highway network is set to take its next step towards completing a necessary environmental assessment, but some in the region are not happy that the project is moving forward during the pandemic.

Shortly before COVID-19 upended daily life as Canadians know it, the Ontario government announced an agreement with the Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations to advance the planning and development of the Northern Road Link.

The proposed road would connect two other all-season roads under development, the Marten Falls Community Access road and the Webequie Supply Road.

At the time of the announcement in March, several stakeholders, including the Fort Albany First Nation, expressed “alarm” as they questioned whether Ontario was meeting its duty to consult.

Now, the two First Nations, who are serving as joint proponents of the project, have submitted the terms of reference and are seeking approval from the province to initiate the environmental assessment.

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