Ontario Energy Board Directed to Designate NextBridge for East-West Tie Line

Minister Greg Rickford at announcement on East West Transmission line
Minister Greg Rickford at announcement on East West Transmission line

FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION – Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs visited Fort William First Nation today to announce that Ontario has directed the Ontario Energy Board to designate NextBridge as the transmitter to build the line, known as the East-West Tie Line Project.

“Maintaining reliability and cost-efficiency is a top priority for our government,” said Minister Rickford. “Moving forward with the East-West Tie Line will support economic growth in northwestern Ontario, signalling that Ontario is Open for Business, and connecting communities and Indigenous people with good, local job opportunities, now and in the future.”

The 450-kilometre transmission line is needed to meet the growing demand for electricity in northwestern Ontario. It will enhance reliability, improve the flow of cheaper and lower-emission energy, and add the capacity needed for major regional development projects like the Wataynikaneyap Power Project and the Ring of Fire.

Leaders gathered at Fort William First Nation for announcement
Leaders gathered at Fort William First Nation for announcement

“I welcome the government’s bold action to confirm that NextBridge will construct the East‐West Tie Project,” said Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins. “This is good news for families and businesses in Northern Ontario. The East-West Tie Line will ensure the availability of electricity in the region, supporting a new era of economic growth and opportunity.”

“Learning from and inspired by the people and the land, we set out to develop an energy project as unique as the north,” said Jennifer Tidmarsh, Project Director, NextBridge. “By working together, we developed a project that is strong, respectful of the community, reflective of the uniqueness of the north and most importantly built on trust and mutual benefit. By working with our Indigenous and municipal partners, we all proved that by finding innovative ways to ensure mutual benefit and economic participation it is possible to develop energy infrastructure with local consent from host communities.”


  • With the support of the Ontario government, NextBridge has trained over 300 Indigenous community members for project-related jobs.
  • The East-West Tie Line Project will deliver over $200 million in economic benefits for First Nation communities.
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