On October 6, a virtual community meeting was held to answer questions related to the Webequie First Nation’s proposed 107km supply road and the terms of reference for the environmental assessment process. The supply road is the first Indigenous-led environmental assessment in Ontario.
The consultation lead from SNC Lavalin, the engineering firm contracted by Webequie First Nation indicated that the road, which would run east from the Webequie airport to McFaulds Lake, currently has no confirmed owner and is not connected to Noront’s projects. When asked if implementation of the road project would move forward despite opposition from impacted First Nations groups, the consultant responded by stating that all issues with the project should be brought to the table so that solutions can be found. He also stated that the approval of the environmental assessment is tentatively scheduled for some time in 2022.
October 6, 2020 (Northern Ontario Business):
Ring of Fire supply road ownership, financing unclear as environmental assessment begins
Webequie’s engineering consultants open virtual open houses to take the temperature of the James Bay region
“It’s unclear if construction on a Ring of Fire supply road can proceed without consensus by First Nation communities across the James Bay region. Don Parkinson, a consultation lead working for Webequie First Nation, didn’t directly answer that question posed to him in an Oct. 6 virtual community meeting over whether road development will be allowed to begin without approval by nearby and outlying communities, like Neskantaga First Nation, with publicly expressed opposition to the project.
“My response to that is: let’s talk openly about the project and get these issues on the table and then we can look at solutions,” he said, in inviting those communities to come forward to share their issues and concerns. Twenty-one First Nations and one Métis community are being engaged on the road project as part of the environmental assessment process. Read more here…