First Nations Partnership Wants East-West Tie Line Built

A partnership of six First Nations is panning delays to construction for a major northern Ontario powerline - calling on the province's energy regulator to let the original proponent move forward.

The release from Bamkushwada Limited Partnership - of which the local Michipicoten First Nation is a member - calls on the provincial government to "fix a broken process created by the Ontario Energy Board", and grant NextBridge leave to construct the East-West Tie transmission line between Wawa and Thunder Bay.

While NextBridge was originally awarded the project, the previous Liberal government ordered a review of options after the project costs nearly doubled.

Hydro One's since put forward its own proposal - which it claims would have "significant cost savings" while minimizing the "environmental footprint" - but BLP says Hydro One has not carried out the constitutionally-required duty to consult and accommodate the First Nations - unlike NextBridge, which has an agreement with BLP - and they're concerned that the Hydro One proposal would be built much later than NextBridge's.

They emphasize the project is a priority initiative of the province, to ensure the reliability of electrical service in Northwestern communities.