New Bridge on Berens River a Northern Gamechanger

Berens River

PIKANGIKUM FIRST NATION – Opening up the north for road traffic generates the opportunity for positive change.

Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora Riding), announced the Government of Canada’s investment in the design of the Berens River Bridge and road improvements.

“The Berens River Bridge provides an important connection for First Nations communities in the North and will provide them with improved access to essential services, such as health care, mental health services, and social programming,” stated Nault. “This connection will also provide new economic opportunities which will help with resource development and business creation, among other things. Today, is a great step forward as we work to truly open up the North which will bring prosperity for everyone.”

The Berens River Bridge design project will significantly increase access to seven remote Northern Ontario communities. The project includes the design of a bridge across the Berens River, an extension of the all-season road and the realignment of the winter road.

Indigenous Services Canada is providing up to $1.4 million for the design phase. Approximately 8,100 people that live in the seven First Nation communities will be safer and benefit from the improvements.

“Today’s announcement will help bring even more Northerners together, and by working together, new economic opportunities will present themselves in our indigenous and non-indigenous communities alike,” concluded Nault.  I can’t stress enough the importance of the significant positive economic and social effects that the Berens River Bridge and better roads will bring to the North.”

“Today, we are taking a step forward in achieving the important goal of improving access to seven remote northern First Nation communities by announcing the design of a new bridge and road improvements. Building and improving essential infrastructure in remote communities is key to economic and social prosperity. I’m proud that our government is supporting this important work,” comments The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous Services.

“The improvement of First Nations infrastructure is crucial to allow for equal opportunities in creating economic growth for our future generations,” states Chief Amanda Sainnawap, Pikangikum First Nation.

“We are all hoping the bridge comes sooner rather than later, as this is an item that’s been talked about for over 10 years. We look forward to working with all 7 communities to make this a reality,” says Chief Delores Kakegamic Sandy Lake First Nation

“On behalf of the Municipality of Red Lake, we would like to congratulate those that worked so hard to make this happen. This bridge, once completed, will benefit the Keewaytinook Okimakanak communities, Pikangikum, and Sandy Lake. I personally, along with our dedicated team look forward to continuing the enhancement of our relationships; and our collaborative efforts in working towards meaningful and sustainable development in our region,” comments Mayor Fred Mota, Municipality of Red Lake, Ontario.