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Ring of Fire all season roads takes a step forward

By CJ Goater Mar 5, 2024 | 12:59 PM

An agreement between the provincial government, Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation has been made to develop community infrastructure projects that could support future development opportunities in the area, including building all-season roads to the  Ring of Fire.

“I want to commend Marten Falls First Nation Chief Bruce Achneepineskum and Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse for their vision and commitment to building stronger communities,” said Ontario’s Minister of Mines George Pirie. “Their leadership and dedication to making progress on these important infrastructure projects is helping to build the corridor to prosperity. These roads would enhance the well-being and livelihoods of their communities by improving access to critical goods and services. The road network would also unlock the generational critical minerals potential in the Ring of Fire region.”

The agreement was signed on Tuesday at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention and it commits the province to supporting shovel-ready infrastructure projects like the construction of health and training facilities, recreation centres, commercial buildings and labour force development programs.

The provincial government feels that these projects will help improve the well-being and readiness of the First Nations to participate fully in the construction of road projects that would connect the Ring of Fire critical mineral deposits with manufacturing hubs.

“As we move forward to now begin to consider road construction and operations, our commitment remains to be strong stewards of our lands and our environment, in balance with being active partners in growing economic opportunities and benefits for both our communities and other First Nation communities,” said Marten Falls First Nation Chief Bruce Achneepineskum.

“Being at the table in the planning and implementation of road development is key to building a foundation for our future, a future that reflects our community vision, well-being and prosperity,” said Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse.

The three parties are all committed to ensuring their collaboration will continue to be grounded in the foundational principles of Bimachiiowin. For Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations, that means enhancing the communities’ well-being and livelihoods, including a focus on long-term sustainability to protect the land and the people’s future in a good way.