Hydro One Responds to NOTL Proposal to Move Waasigan Line

Hydro One Prepares for storm Image: depositphotos.com

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Hydro One, the company responsible for the Waasigan Transmission Line project, has released its analysis of an alternate route proposed by the Neighbours on the Line (NOTL) community group. The evaluation found that the proposed route would result in a larger disturbance to vegetation and wetlands, waterways, and wildlife habitats. The NOTL’s proposed route also crosses a larger area of land where Indigenous communities exercise their Aboriginal and treaty rights.

However, Hydro One remains committed to working with the community to alter the route and keep residents in their homes, as well as addressing individual property concerns wherever possible. The company is focused on finding a route that balances Indigenous values, natural environment, socio-economic environment, and technical and cost considerations.

The company has reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with the Kaministiquia community to find route refinements and ensure those landowners who have displacement concerns can remain in their homes. Hydro One has also listened to concerns of the Shebandowan community and has proposed route changes that respond to their feedback.

The Waasigan Transmission Line project is being developed to meet growing electricity needs in northwest Ontario. The line will bolster capacity in the region by adding 350 megawatts of capacity with a new double-circuit 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between Lakehead Transmission Station (TS) in the Municipality of Shuniah and Mackenzie TS in the Town of Atikokan, and a new single-circuit 230 kV transmission line between Mackenzie TS and Dryden TS in the City of Dryden.

Hydro One’s 50-50 equity partnership model will be applied to the Waasigan Transmission Line project, offering nine First Nations a 50 per cent equity stake in the project, including Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation (LDMLFN) and eight First Nation communities represented by Gwayakocchigewin LP (GLP).

To learn more about the project and provide feedback, interested individuals can visit HydroOne.com/Waasigan.

Neighbours on the Line will be holding an in-person meeting on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 7 pm at the Kaministiquia Community Centre regarding further discovery pertaining to the Hydro One with their Waasigan Transmission Line Project partner’s preliminary preferred route. A Zoom link is available below.

A debrief of meetings hosted by Hydro One with the NOTL Steering Committee on April 18th, along with the public drop in meetings at 3 to 5 p.m. on April 18th and the 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on April 19th will be discussed. We understand that these hours are not ideal for most community members but we suggest all that are able to attend the April 18th 3 p.m. meeting and the April 19th 10 a.m. to do so. The community concern of an unmarked white van accessing the mail boxes of community members without postage will also be discussed. 

This gathering will be held at the Kaministiquia Community Centre on Hwy 102.

In the wake of Hydro One’s public announcement of the Waasigan Transmission Line Project route, residents and landowners from Thunder Bay to Dryden, ON feel blindsided and misled without proper disclosure. Neighbours on the Line is the first of the community initiatives to bring together families, neighbours, and communities impacted by this project, whether it is displacement from homes, as landowners, or within the radius of impact, or those interested in knowing more about the WTLP. We seek to support each other and connect to create solutions to this seemingly unreasonable and haphazard project with no apparent disclosure of why the line is necessary in respect to public interest, the attempt to expropriate land prior to completed assessments to ensure the line, along with coercive tactics and undue mental and emotional anguish to community members to leave homes and/or agree to easements without proper informed consent. At this present time, it would appear that the human impact, health risk management, and environmental assessments are not complete. There will be a continual reaching out to those in the community with experience in this type of circumstance, along with legal, emotional, mental health, environmental, and land management support and/or information.

For more information please go to: www.notlinfo.ca

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