GREENSTONE – “More and more it is becoming clear that the Municipality of Greenstone is emerging as the gateway to the Ring of Fire.” These words were used by Greenstone Mayor, Renald Beaulieu, while briefing Councillors on recent developments concerning the Municipality.
The first development is the Noront Resources (NR) announcement that their “base case” is predicated on transporting Ring of Fire ore using the proposed North-South Corridor (with a southern terminus in Greenstone’s Nakina ward. The second is that the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is now considering an East of Lake Nipigon transmission corridor.
When commenting on NR’s decision to transport ore on the planned north-south road, the Mayor said, “For decades, Nakina was viewed as the end of the road, but increasingly it seems that Nakina, a proud part of Greenstone, will soon be seen as the start of the road.”
Adding greatly to the Mayor’s enthusiasm was the low key, yet pivotal, news that the Northwest Ontario First Nations Transmission Planning Committee (NOFNTPC) has been informed by the OPA that the OPA is now studying an East side of Lake Nipigon transmission line.
The proposed transmission line would supply the Ring of Fire and bring grid-connected electricity to First Nations such as Marten Falls. Mayor Beaulieu observed, “Transmission lines are like ribbons of prosperity.”
The East of Lake Nipigon route was a key feature of Greenstone’s “Kick Start for the Northwest” released in 2011 (see link below). The Kick Start plan outlined how an expanded and reinforced electricity grid benefits the entire North West.
Mayor Beaulieu noted, “A shared road and transmission corridor north from the Nakina area would align with the Provincial policy statement that requires consideration of multi-use transportation/utility corridors.”
“Even more importantly, a stable electrical supply for First Nation communities currently dependent on diesel generators can address a lot of social and economic disadvantages,” Beaulieu stated. He concluded by saying, “We are committed to continue working with Matawa First Nations and the Nipigon Chiefs and communities as all our interests related to transmission are very well aligned.”