Fort Albany rises questions, concerns about downstream impacts of Far North road building and mining activity
The Northern Road Link, the middle stretch of the proposed Ring of Fire road network, will undergo a federal environmental assessment, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IACC) announced last week.
The determination by IAAC that an assessment is required was based on the possibility that the road could cause negative impacts to fish, birds and the socio-economic well-being of the Indigenous people in the area. Feedback on the project came forth from the public, Indigenous groups, various federal agencies and others, IACC said.
IAAC officials could not immediately provide any date on when an assessment would begin, nor provided any context on how an assessment will mesh with Ottawa’s recent announcement to reboot of its Regional Assessment process on the Ring of Fire area. Discussions about the terms of reference of this wider assessment has only just started.
The proponents are Webequie and Marten Falls, two remote communities without permanent road access. The road would help connect the mineral deposits in the McFaulds Lake area of the James Bay region to the provincial highway system. It would also facilitate the movement of goods, services, resources and people into the region for the first time.