KENORA – Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora riding) released the following statement regarding the approval of Phase 2 of the Wataynikaneyap Power project:
“In August 2017, the groundwork for this project was laid with an investment of $60 million for Wataynikaneyap Power to build a 117-kilometre grid line from Red Lake to Pikangikum. In March 2018, Watataynikaneyap Power received a historic federal investment of $1.6 billion to connect 17 First Nations to the provincial power grid.
“The project is scheduled to be accomplished in two phases: Phase 1, upgrading of the electrical system with a new line to Pickle Lake, Ontario. Phase 2, which has just been approved by the Ontario Energy Board, involves installation of 1,630kms of transmission line which will connect 17 remote First Nations communities north of Red Lake and Pickle Lake, with community connections starting in 2021, and all communities connected by the end of 2023.
“The Wataynikaneyap Power Project is the largest and most far-reaching Indigenous-led transmission project in the history of the province. Wataynikaneyap Power, a transmission company majority owned by 22 First Nation communities, has played a critical role in leading this project.
“The importance of this project should not be underestimated; not only is this one of the largest federal investments the Kenora riding has seen, but it also brings reliable, clean power and up to 300 high-paying jobs. These communities will be able to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer substantial environmental benefits and cost-savings over the long term, so they can focus on building a better future.”