THUNDER BAY, ONT.—Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations have announced the environmental assessment process will officially begin May 4 on the Northern Road Link proposed for northern Ontario.
The official Notice of Commencement for the Terms of Reference for the project will be released that day.
The project is a proposal to build a 120-kilometre road that will run north-south, connecting two other proposed road development projects, the Webequie Supply Road and the Marten Falls Community Access Road, and the Ring of Fire mining development area, stated a release.
“This Notice of Commencement is a significant milestone for our First Nations and one that has taken over 10 years to materialize,” said Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation in a statement. “We share a common vision with Webequie to change how development occurs in our traditional territory. Today, we are leading the planning and assessment of this project to ensure that environmental risks to our traditional ways of life are thoroughly assessed and mitigated, and that opportunities for First Nations people are maximized.”
On April 6 three other northern Ontario First Nations, the Attawapiskat, Fort Albany and Neskantaga, issued a call for a moratorium on the development of access roads to the Ring of Fire region and on development of the Ring of Fire itself until the federal and provincial government agree to a regional impact assessment that is led by an Indigenous governing body.