FedNor, the federal government’s economic development agency for Northern Ontario, and the province’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines have announced funding for a study to examine the benefits of developing an all-season, east-west transportation corridor connecting the mineral rich Ring of Fire to the province’s road network.
Together, the two governments are allocating $785,000 to enable the Webequie First Nation, in partnership with the First Nations of Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinmik, to complete the regional community service corridor study.
The proposed all-season road would extend from the terminus of provincial highway 599 at Pickle Lake to the First Nation communities in the area and onward to the Ring of Fire.
The funding will give “the communities the opportunity to work collaboratively to assess, plan and develop a shared transportation solution that will open the door for future development in Northern Ontario,” said Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Greg Rickford at a press conference March 1st at the PDAC.
“Today is another example of how we can work together to move forward on a project as important as this,” said Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “This study truly lays the groundwork for the Matawa First Nation member communities to access the tools and resources they need to succeed and move us positively in the direction towards successfully developing the Ring of Fire in a manner that truly maximizes the multigenerational benefits for the Matawa First Nations and other communities in Northern Ontario.”